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Last-minute bid to stop Shell’s oil exploration in whale breeding grounds in South Africa

The Guardian

Last-minute bid to stop Shell’s oil exploration in whale breeding grounds in South Africa

Campaigners have filed legal challenge against seismic survey along Eastern Cape province

Jillian Ambrose Energy correspondent: Wed 1 Dec 2021 06.00 GMT

An 11th hour bid has been launched to try to halt plans by Royal Dutch Shell to explore for oil in vital whale breeding grounds along the Wild Coast of eastern South Africa.

Campaigners filed an urgent legal challenge against the seismic survey, which was scheduled to begin on Wednesday, in a last-ditch bid to prevent it harming whales, dolphins and seals in the relatively untouched marine environment.

The challenge brought by four environmental and human rights organisations will be heard in court on Wednesday afternoon.

The intervention is expected to delay Shell’s plans to explore for oil in the sensitive marine environment, which will include firing extremely loud shockwave emissions down through 1.8 miles of water and almost 35 miles into the seabed to create a seismic survey of the area.

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