For Immediate Release
8 January 2022
Western Cape High Court halts west coast seismic blasting
CAPE TOWN — The Western Cape High Court granted an interim interim interdict against Australian geoscience data supplier Searcher Seismic, stopping its planned seismic survey off the West Coast from Cape Town to Namibia pending the outcome of the interim interdict application launched on 21 January 2022.
The Legal Resources Centre acted for various West Coast communities and small-scale fishers whose lives and livelihoods would potentially be impacted by the survey. Importantly, for these fishers, fishing is not just a means of generating income, it is their way of life. Despite this, Searcher did not undertake any meaningful consultation with the affected communities and failed entirely to get environmental authorisation under the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA). The court was presented with expert evidence that the survey could have a severe impact not only on these fishing communities, but also on the marine and bird life in the area.
The case was brought in two parts: Part A dealt with an interim interdict to prohibit Searcher from conducting the seismic survey while Part B is a review of the permit granted to Searcher by the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy.
We welcome the order granted by Judge Thulare which orders Searcher to discontinue any activities related to their survey which commenced on 24 January until there has been a determination on the merits of the interdict application, which will be heard on the 7th of March 2022.
Issued by the Legal Resources Centre
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