WWF Greece spearheads campaign to stop oil drilling in Ionian Sea

One hundred scientists and scientific bodies and organizations from Greece and around the world have joined forces with WWF Greece to urge Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to cancel the hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation in the Ionian Sea, the organisation said in a press release Monday.

The bodies and scientists supporting the move, argue that the hydrocarbon exploration will have devastating effects in the country’s marine environment and marine life, even from the first phase of seismic surveys.

WWF Greece said that, based on its data, the blocks that have been already been or will be granted to oil companies for drilling overlap with two regions in Greece identified as globally Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMA): the Ionian Archipelago region (overlapping with 34 percent of its total area), and the Hellenic Trench region (overlapping with 44 percent of its total area).

“The Hellenic Trench is a key area for the future of several rare marine species, but also for the future of our country. Nevertheless, the Greek government allows anyone who so wishes, to proceed with underwater seismic surveys in the absence of an effective control,” said Dimitris Ibrahim, Manager of the WWF Greece Campaign against hydrocarbon exploitation.

“Any exploration or drilling activity on the open sea and in depths of thousand meters will deliver the final blow to the unique species living in the area, but also for the coastal communities and subsequently the national economy,” he added. 

The Hellenic trench, which extends from the Ionian islands to southern Crete, forms an ecosystem for sperm whales and other aquatic life and has been used by marine biologists to study the behaviour of various aquatic species.

The resolution text which has been published online is an initiative of WWF Greece supported by Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute.

source – www.ekathimerini.com

One thought on “WWF Greece spearheads campaign to stop oil drilling in Ionian Sea

  • June 20, 2019 at 7:20 am

    The Teutonic plates are so fragile major earthquake zone and you want to drill into those for oil?
    Is Greece not worried about lives lost with earthquakes have we forgotten about the devastation in the 1950s
    This is not on! You will kill the islanders get some sense oil will soon no longer be needed but people’s lives are at stake for a few dollars!


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