South African court halts offshore seismic survey by Anglo-Dutch firm Shell
South Africans are calling on the government to withdraw its permission to Shell oil for a seismic survey along the country’s pristine Wild Coast region.
The Wild Coast is a 300-kilometre (185-mile) stretch of natural beauty, dotted with marine and nature reserves.
Last December protestors gathered in Cape Town and chanted slogans against Shell, an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company.
Last week, a South African court blocked Shell from using seismic waves to explore for oil and gas in the Indian Ocean, in a victory for environmentalists worried about the impact on whales and other marine life.
The campaigners were jubilant at the ruling, but stressed that the relief was only temporary.
Environmentalists and others have protested against Shell's plans for seismic blasting, saying its underwater acoustics are harmful to marine animals, especially migrating whales.
Exploration had been scheduled to start on December 1 and last up to five months.
A petition against the project had gathered nearly 85,000 signatures.
Campaigners said the scheme would entail "one extremely loud shock wave every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day, for five months at a time."