‘Shell’s exploration will have long term impact on marine life’

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Coordinator of the Green Connection organisation Neville van Rooy says marine life and species will be destroyed if Shell is granted permission to explore for oil and gas off the Wild Coast of South Africa.

Green Connection and other supporting organisations were demonstrating outside the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein, saying that they want to defend the Makhanda High Court judgment, which set aside Shell’s exploration rights.

Shell, Impact Africa and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy Minister are appealing the high court judgment in the SCA on various grounds.

Van Rooy says not only the ocean but also the livelihoods and local economies will be destroyed in the process. He says that is why they are standing up against industry and government, that is in a David and Goliath battle against already marginalised people.

“Every 10 seconds for six months with 250 decibels which is an alarming noise levels for ecosystems and marine species. This means that marine species that are depending on sound for their hunting, mating will now be disproportionately disturbed and possibly destroyed and possibly killed.”

Meanwhile, independent environmental campaigning organisation Greenpeace Africa has joined hands with other organisations in support of Green Connection.

They also demonstrated at the SCA in Bloemfontein.

Climate and Energy campaigner of the Greenpeace Africa Cynthia Moyo explains, “For decades Shell’s activities have really taken a toll on South African environment. Leaving behind a legacy of pollution and we see our once pristine water sources are now teemed with toxic chemicals and that is courtesy of Shell’s activities. And today we are here to say Shell we want you out of our coast, we want you out of our ocean and we want you out of our lands. We don’t want you in South Africa. Shell has to pack up and leave.”