Skip to main content

To: Cyril Ramaphosa

STOP THE SEISMIC SURVEY STARTING ON 15 JANUARY 2022 OFF THE WESTERN CAPE COAST

STOP THE SEISMIC SURVEY STARTING ON 15 JANUARY 2022 OFF THE WESTERN CAPE COAST

We are South Africans, the largest civil society movement in South Africa, reaching 15 million South Africans, has begun the process to seek an interdict to stop Seismic Searcher (Australia) from its planned 2D/3D seismic survey on the Western Cape coast.

A Reconnaissance Permit in terms of Section 74 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (No. 28 of 2002) by the Petroleum Agency of South on 9th November 2021 was granted with an effective date of 6 December 2021. The company also claims to have included a formal 30-day public review and comment period, none of which we can find or a single news article related to this. The project is in collaboration with the Petroleum Agency of South Africa on some vague energy website and has been kept out of the public eye with both the permit being granted and the seismic survey beginning when most of South Africa is on holiday or returning from holiday.

The survey will last 55 days (up to 180 days) by the vessel M/V BGP Pioneer, supported by M/V Marianne-G, NBP Pioneer will be towing a source array and 1 streamer cable, extending up to 12 km long, astern of the vessel and approx. 8m below sea surface.

In 2D seismic surveying both the blast and sound detectors (numbering up to a hundred or more per charger) are moved along a straight line. In 3D seismic surveying the sound detectors (numbering up to a thousand or more) are spread out over an area and the blast is moved from location to location through the area. Seismic testing involves sending regular “blasts” under water in short sequence to create a map of the surface and sub-surface.

The noise generated can reach 250 decibels as the sound waves generated by the blast penetrate the seabed. In comparison, the loudest whale noises range between 140 and 190 decibels.

This sound is proven in multiple peer-reviewed research papers to disturb, scare and alter marine life such as separating whales and their calves. This affects the endangered African Penguin, two subspecies of Blue Whales, the Antarctic Blue Whale and the Pygmy Blue Whale, the protected Southern Right Whales, Bryde’s Whales, Loggerhead Sea Turtles, Orcas and multiple Shark species all found along the Western Cape coast, the whale pods called some of the largest pods on Earth. These are detrimental to our tourism industry.

This also affects our fishing industry and communities off the West Coast, such as our famous snoek.

Beyond this we sense corruption in the granting of this permit as Seismic Searcher has not provided a single document to us and refuses to do so. We do not know who their clients are, there is no media or news releases and they are not responding to our emails.

To top it all the ship BGP Pioneer has warned mariners that it is severely restricted in its ability to stop or turn and needs a minimum all round clearance of 11km ahead & abeam and 17km astern (9NM).

How will it stop to protect wild life?

We demand that this survey be halted with immediate effect! Please sign the petition.

Why is this important?

Please help us protect the marine life, environment, and fishing and tourism industries of the Western Cape!

How it will be delivered

The petition will be delivered to the President of the Republic of South Africa; court documents will be sent to Searcher Seismic , Minister Gwede Mantashe and Minister Barbara Creecy will be receiving the petition with further litigation against them.

Updates

2022-01-23 10:04:58 +0200

10,000 signatures reached

2022-01-10 20:34:57 +0200

5,000 signatures reached

2022-01-08 06:40:51 +0200

Don't forget to share the petition and ask others to sign it!

2022-01-07 03:15:20 +0200

1,000 signatures reached

2022-01-06 17:38:23 +0200

500 signatures reached

2022-01-06 13:47:43 +0200

100 signatures reached

2022-01-06 11:01:47 +0200

50 signatures reached

2022-01-05 23:11:59 +0200

25 signatures reached

2022-01-05 20:28:10 +0200

10 signatures reached