New eco blow for Shell after South African court rules its underwater tests could harm whales
A South African court has blocked Shell testing for oil and gas off the country’s east coast after campaigners claimed it could harm migrating whales.
Shell must stop its extensive seismic survey, using high-powered airguns to blast the sea floor.
The echoes produced are used to map fossil fuel reserves.
Shell has been ordered to stop its extensive seismic survey, using high-powered airguns to blast the sea floor, amid fears it could be harmful to whales
The area Shell is targeting – the Wild Coast – is one of South Africa’s most undisturbed wildlife refuges.
The legal case, brought by groups including local fishermen and Greenpeace Africa, said the underwater acoustics could do huge harm to animals including dolphins, seals, penguins and endangered humpback whales.
Locals fear surveys will kill or scare away fish they depend on to live.
A previous ruling allowed Shell to test but the latest decision was part of a broader case arguing that the FTSE 100 energy giant did not have the necessary approvals to move ahead.
Politicians have supported Shell, saying a discovery could aid energy security.
Shell said it had paused the survey while it reviewed the judgment.