At the start of the 2024, an Australian company based in the UK, Searcher Geodata, plans to begin a seismic survey for oil and gas reserves off South Africa’s West Coast.

The survey, over 30,000km2 about 220km offshore between St Helena Bay and Hondeklip Bay, involves blasting continuous pulses of sound at 255 decibels (dB) to create a 3D map of the seafloor and underlying geology. Decibel charts for human sound don’t usually go above 150dB, which is the intensity of fireworks and gunshots, and is considered painful and dangerous...

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