Petroleum Agency promises caution when Shell explores for oil in the Wild Coast

Petroleum Agency SA CEO Phindile Masangane agrees there would be an impact on marine life but said this could be fully mitigated.

FILE: Environmentalists are concerned about the impact the ocean and sea life. Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - The Petroleum Agency SA on Tuesday said independent environmentalists would ensure protocols were in place when Shell started exploring for oil and gas off the Wild Coast in December.

Environmentalists are concerned about the impact the ocean and sea life.

They held protests about two weeks ago when the oil giant docked a new seismic survey ship at Cape Town Harbour in preparation for oil exploration off the Garden Route.

Petroleum Agency SA CEO Phindile Masangane agrees that there would be an impact on marine life but said this could be fully mitigated.

"Just before they released the actual aquatic sound itself, they had a pre-watch for an hour before then and they did release a much softer sound to allow marine mammals to swim away from the area. They also watch before they release the sound that indeed there is no marine species within the area."