WAPFSA URGES REGISTRATION OF INTERESTED AND AFFECTED PARTIES AND TO COMMENT ON THE “TEEPSA” 567 DRAFT SCOPING REPORT
Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the Proposed Offshore Exploration Well Drilling in Block 5/6/7 on the South Western Coast of South Africa.
TotalEnergies Exploration & Production South Africa (TEEPSA) and its Joint Venture partners are inviting consultation with interested and affected parties.
Register Your Concern
TotalEnergies EP South Africa Block 567 (Pty) Ltd (“TEEPSA”) has applied to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy for Environmental Authorisation to undertake exploration well drilling in Block 567.
Block 5/6/7 TEEPSA is identified a 10 000 square kilometre area of interest for hydrocarbon exploration approximately 60km from the coast at its closest point and 170km at its furthest. The Area of Interest is located offshore roughly between Cape Town and Cape Agulhas.
Please consider registering as an interested and affected party and comment of the Draft Scoping Report on or before the 4th July 2022.
Please read the Scoping Report – A Non-Technical Summary:
Important Environmental Considerations
The South-West Coast supports a rich diversity of marine life including sensitive benthic habitats, species, plankton, fish and shark, turtles, seabirds and marine mammals including whales, dolphins and seals.
There is a marginal overlap with the Vulnerable Cape Canyon habitat ecosystem and there is a 5.4% overlap with Critical Biodiversity Areas.
There will be up to five wells drilled depending on the success of the first drilling campaign. Anticipated commencement is between the 4th quarter of 2023 and the 2nd quarter of 2024. The duration of drilling operation is 3 to 4 months.
Reason for Concern
Local communities connected to the ocean environment should be concerned that their way of life might be disrupted. Indigenous communities hold spiritual and cultural connections to the ocean and local small scale fishers may be negatively affected by harm that might be caused to marine life.
Seabed mining generates constant noise that can be heard over vast areas of ocean. This noise can cause whales to leave the area, or have impacts likes stress, reduced reproductive success and survivability.
Deep-sea mining should be halted until the criteria specified by the IUCN are met, including the introduction of assessments, effective regulation and mitigation strategies. Comprehensive studies are needed to improve our understanding of deep-sea ecosystems and the vital services they provided to people, such as food and carbon sequestration. Species such as whales, tuna and sharks could be affected by noise, vibrations light pollution caused by mining equipment and surface vessels.
Reports suggests that noise pollution produced by deep-sea mining activities could have far-reaching effects on the marine environment, from surface to seafloor.
Deep-sea mining is a potential risk with environmental consequences due to the continuous low level noise and the sediment that will be stirred up which could impact upon mammals livelihood.
Scientists and environmentalists urging an international moratorium on deep-sea mining after releasing a report indicating its impact on the Pacific Ocean that would be severe, extensive and last for generations.
Image Credit: Hermanus Whales
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