Big Oil threatens Canary islands marine wildlife

This video is called The Canary Islands under the sea.

By Michelle Cassidy:

Canary Islands Threatened by Oil Prospecting Plans

Thu, Aug 2, 2012

The Canary Islands are in the oil industry’s crosshairs, and that spells danger for the area’s marine habitats and wildlife.

In a new report, Oceana has denounced oil prospecting plans in the Canary Islands, highlighting the dangerous impact of these activities on cold-water coral reefs, deep sponge fields, hydrothermal vents, and nearly 100 protected species.

Spanish oil company Repsol is planning to prospect in the Canary Islands Channel, located off the northwest coast of Africa. The channel contains gas-based habitats that are protected under the Habitats Directive. These habitats support coral and sponge communities that would be destroyed by oil prospecting activity.

A total of 25 protected areas and 82 endangered species would be threatened by Repsol’s prospecting activities. These include sea turtles, short finned pilot whales, angel sharks, bottlenose dolphins, and a variety of fish.

The International Maritime Organization has declared the Canary Islands a Particularly Sensitive Area for its biological wealth and its economic dependence. This status affords the islands’ strict protection in terms of waste and pollution.

The Canary Islands is an archipelago supported by fishing and tourism. Both of these industries rely on the islands’ high biodiversity—more than 600 species and 350 communities and habitats. Oil prospecting would interfere with fishing and tourism, and reduce the biodiversity of the area.

We’ll be sure to keep you posted!

Conservationists call for Canary Islands whale sanctuary instead of oil scheme: here.

8 thoughts on “Big Oil threatens Canary islands marine wildlife

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  5. Dear friends across Europe,

    The EU is about to give the most important climate job to a man who is a champion for dirty energy. There is only one way to stop this crazy appointment: to persuade key MEPs to ditch Cañete and find a strong climate leader that represents us all. We only have 24 hours — sign the petition and tell everyone:

    In 24 hours a Spanish oil ‘baron’ could be chosen as our European Commissioner on Climate. And only we can stop this shocking appointment!

    It would be absurd to leave the leadership of Europe’s energy policy and global climate talks to a man who The Sunday Times has named “Señor Petrolhead”. But MEPs can reject the appointment and while some are threatening to accept him in return for political favours, with enough public backing, progressive MEPs could lead the charge to block him.

    Last week we created the largest march ever for 100% clean energy. Let’s build on that momentum now and demand a strong climate leader for this crucial post. Public outrage has pushed MEPs to reject controversial candidates at the last minute before. It’s up to us to do it again now — Click to say NO to Arias Cañete and tell everyone — our petition will be delivered directly to the MEPs:

    The new EU Energy and Climate Commissioner will be responsible for delivering ambitious emissions cuts and leading us towards a new green, low carbon EU economy. Yet after weeks of horse trading and political brinkmanship, our leaders have struck a deal that includes giving this crucial portfolio to one of the most unsuitable candidates for the job.

    Cañete is a man with deep connections to the oil sector, and although he has sold his shares in two oil companies and claims he is clean, serious conflicts of interest remain. He is not only the former chairman of both companies, but his son and brother-in-law still hold powerful positions in both companies! He also has an appalling record as the Spanish environment minister who greenlighted oil explorations in the pristine waters off the Canary Islands. This history alone should automatically exclude him from this post, but he is also renowned for sexism during the last EU elections.

    Luckily, there is still a last hurdle Mr. Cañete needs to clear: in 24 hours he will face tough hearings in two parliamentary committees in Brussels, and if they issue a negative opinion, they will force EU President Juncker to revisit the deal and find a better candidate for this position. Experts say that the main party leaders are afraid of making changes, but if the committee feels empowered enough by us to reject him, Juncker can be forced to reshuffle portfolios or to go back to the Spanish government to present a new candidate.

    In 2004 after a big wave of protests, MEPs successfully used their power to replace the ultra-conservative Rocco Buttiglione. Progressive MEPs are poised to speak out, but they need to urgently get a mandate from hundreds of thousands of us from every corner of Europe to do the right thing. We only have 24 hours — sign now and tell everyone and our voices will be delivered right into the hearings:

    Last week 675,000 people marched in 2000 events globally in the People’s Climate March, and we got our leaders’ attention. We know ambition and leadership are critical from the EU now to get the deal we need to save the planet. We cannot now leave what the EU does on climate to someone whose interests directly contradict everything we worked for, and everything the scientists are telling us. Let’s demand strong leadership to confront the biggest crisis of our time.

    With hope ,

    Luis, Anna, Patri, Christoph, Nick, Andrea and the rest of the Avaaz team.

    More information:

    And the EU climate commissioner is: Señor Petrolhead (The Sunday Times)

    Cañete faces protests before EU confirmation hearing (Euractiv)

    Cañete’s conflicts of interests continue to concern (Friends of the Earth Europe)

    New EU energy and climate commissioner ‘must drop oil shares’ (The Guardian)

    Grave concerns of environmental NGOs – open letter to President Juncker (WWF)

    A chronology of alleged conflicts of interests of Miguel Arias Cañete (Friends of the Earth Europe)


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