CAPE TOWN - Imagine you're a dolphin and there was no threat of a seismic blast that could kill you.
This is the sentiment local parody artist and musician The Kiffness has expressed in a new video, as Dutch multinational Shell planned to explore for oil in oceanic breeding grounds along the Wild Coast of eastern South Africa.
Survey vessel Amazon Warrior, which will conduct seismic surveys for Shell, has left Cape Town, and by Wednesday was in Port Alfred, accompanied by support and guard vessels.
There has been widespread opposition to the operation, with many groups, organisations, businesses and individuals, among others, calling for the ocean to be protected.
The Kiffness took to his social media pages to release a song in protest against the operation.
Inspired by John Lennon's Imagine, titled Reimagine, the artist drew attention to the potential damage and lasting negative impacts that may be caused.
“Imagine no seismic blasting,” the song starts.
“It’s easy if you try.
“No Shell on the Wild Coast.
“And no government ties.
“Imagine all the creatures, living in the sea…” it continues.
Meanwhile, a court case is ongoing after an urgent interim interdict was brought before the Makhanda High Court to prevent Shell from embarking on the survey.
This as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has said the Wild Coast has some of the largest concentrations of marine mammals in the world, among them humpback whales and dolphins.
It is also home to dozens of endemic species, a host of marine and coastal habitats and pristine estuaries.
“It forms part of a unique transition zone with elements of sub-tropical and warm temperate systems. The sardine run which can be seen along this coast – sometimes called ‘the greatest shoal on Earth’ – is unequalled in scale and spectacle, and almost certainly worthy of global heritage status.
“While the current exploration for gas and oil has attracted much attention there are also other land-based environmental threats to this area, among them a proposed coastal highway, a ‘smart city’ project, and the damming of the Mzimvubu River.
“In an area such as the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape, which has high levels of poverty but is rich in biodiversity, WWF finds the prospect of incompatible developments very concerning and calls for fully consultative and collaborative processes to be followed,” WWF said.