Shell acting within the law with seismic survey, court told
CAPE TOWN - The Makhanda High Court will on Friday rule on the application seeking to stop petroleum giant Shell from carrying out its seismic survey on the Wild Coast.
Four environmental and human rights organisations have come together in a bid to block Shell from starting seismic testing for the exploration of petroleum resources.
In court papers, Shell said the applicants had failed to substantiate the urgency of their application.
Shell argues that it is acting within the law and in a responsible and ethical manner.
The company said that its operations would also be monitored at all times by the independent Marine Mammal Observers.
Acting on the company’s behalf, Advocate Adrian Friedman said that had it spent millions of rand to commence with the survey on Wednesday.
"Seismic surveys of this nature have routinely been conducted around the world and in South Africa without any real evidence of there being any negative impact and certainly no evidence on the papers, at all, of any negative impact on any of those surveys," Friedman said.
Representing the environmental groups, Advocate Willie Duminy argued that the approved environmental management programme for the seismic surveys stipulated that it should not be done during December.
"It makes no dividends that sound from properly mitigated, I stress properly mitigated, seismic surveys has had any specific impact on marine populations," Duminy said.
The applicants - Border Deep Sea Angling Association, Kei Mouth Ski Boat Club, Natural Justice and Greenpeace Africa - said that they were driven by a desire to protect the coastal environment and had to launch the urgent court bid.
They said they had no guarantee from Shell that it would not commence with the seismic survey.
This article first appeared on EWN : Shell acting within the law with seismic survey, court told