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Uproar as Canary waters “at risk again” from oil prospecting 

PAGE 1 UPROAR AS CANARY

Fuerteventura says Morocco drilling will affect marine life

Fuerteventura is up in arms about a new oil prospecting application which they fear could affect the waters of the picturesque island and the Canaries in general.

The institution is demand-ing information about the works authorised by near-by Morocco to an Italian company off the coasts of the eastern islands.

Cabildo leaders want both the Spanish Government and the EU to intervene as a matter of urgency and to protect the archipelago from any future threat.

They are reminding the State of what happened only a few years ago when Repsol was allowed to test-drill for oil off the Canaries. There was a massive outpouring of opposition, with more than 100 environmental organisations voicing their disgust and hundreds of thousands of people signing a protest petition. The application was allowed and a test boat was brought in but in the end, no sign of oil was found.

On this occasion, the new bid is nothing to do with the Spanish Government but with Morocco.

A statement issued by Fuerteventura Cabildo says; “The Government group in the Fuerteventura Cabildo (Canary Islands Coalition-PSC-PSOE) is directed to the General State Administration and the European Commission to adopt measures to prevent new oil prospecting from occurring in waters near the Canary Islands. “

“The Island Corporation is asking the State for information about the prospections authorised by Morocco to the Italian company ENI off the coasts of the eastern islands. The waters around Fuerteven-tura are again at risk and this authorisation is very bad news for the conservation of the sanctuary of the marine reserve of the waters of this area of the archipelago.”,

“Therefore, we as the first public institution ask the State to “defend the waters of this insular environment making the necessary pressure and activate the necessary procedures to safeguard them from new oil prospecting.”

“In this sense, the Cabildo recalls the overwhelming rejection shown by the population and the institutions to conduct oil exploration in the waters surrounding the islands.”

In addition, the Cabildo in coordination with the Government of the Canary Islands and the rest of the institutions says it will take whatever actions are necessary to ensure the preservation of the marine waters surrounding the islands and, thus, conserve the wealth of the marine habitat.

On the other hand, the Cabildo de Fuerteventura continues to wait for the request from the Delegation of the State Government in the Canary Islands to respond to a request for information about submarine sounds detected in October by divers from Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.