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Say No To Oil Rigs In The Algarve

Say no to oil rigs in the AlgarveThe oil companies Repsol and Partex (which was started by Calouste Gulbenkian) intend to start deep-sea oil/gas-drilling in Algarve, early in 2014, with the first exploration taking place in the Algarve foreshore at only 8 kilometres from the coast, amidst much secrecy and chronic lack of information from all parties involved.

According to information that we have received, it appears that the first rig to be used in the Algarve waters for exploration purposes, is a rig that was bought as “Scrap” in Indonesia and which is now being refurbished and re-commissioned.

This is deeply worrying, especially because no EIA’s (Environmental Impact Studies) have been conducted, nor has there been any open disclosures by the authorities or the companies involved, nor any public consultation.

When one takes into account all the facts in hand, coupled with the high level of corruption that exists in Portugal, which is increasing according to latest reports from Transparency International, we are faced with very serious worrying factors.

We need to keep in mind that any type of oil/gas-drilling is of major concern because of the alarming environmental and economic risks that face our people, land and sea.

We also need to keep in mind that there are currently no adequate protection measures in place to protect our environment from an oil or gas disaster at sea.

Let us also keep in mind, that Portugal and the Portuguese people will lose more than 91% of the profits gained from drilling our seabed if they see any profits at all (9% of profits? One must ask what profits will we the Portuguese really benefit from? Because the chance is that Repsol will not declare any profits for years to come), yet we will bear more than 100% of the cost when something goes wrong, and history tells us that it is only a matter of time before it happens and we have to pay the price.

THE IMPACT THAT THIS WILL HAVE ON OUR BEAUTIFUL COASTLINE IS AS FOLLOWS:

1) Our Algarve wildlife - The Algarve marine environment includes many unique and fragile ecosystems, and is home to many species, including seabirds, shorebirds, whales and dolphins. A deep sea oil disaster will leave our local marine flora and fauna vulnerable to the toxic effects of oil and gas.

2) Our Algarve fishing industry - Commercial fishing rank as one of our most economic mechanisms that needs to be preserved, while recreational fishing is one of the Algarve’s most popular activities. A deep sea oil or gas disaster will directly impact our local fishing industries resulting in both the loss of valuable fish stocks and the loss of industry jobs.

3) Our Algarve tourism industry - The pristine coastlines and unique wildlife of the Algarve attract tens of thousands of international tourists annually, injecting an economic boost into the region. A deep sea oil or gas disaster will have a pivotal role in tourists' decisions to visit the Algarve.

4) Our Algarve recreational water sports – The Algarve offers unparalleled opportunities for ocean sports such as surfing, kayaking, wind surfing, jet skiing, diving and boating. A deep sea oil or gas disaster will invariably impact many local businesses, organisations, and individuals who enjoy the Algarve’s waters.

5) Our Algarve assets - We should be protecting our national assets, not selling them off to be exploited by foreign corporations, or endangering them by oil or gas drilling without adequate safety measures.

6) Our Algarve climate - The climate change impacts of fossil fuels are disastrous. Portugal should be investing in clean energy solutions instead of investing in extracting the last drops of oil from the ends of the earth. We should be climate pioneers not fossil fools.

7) Our coastal way of life in the Algarve - This is a fundamental part of living in the Algarve, whether you are Portuguese or an Expat, and we must protect it not only for ourselves, but also for all of our visitors and for future generations.


JOIN US IN OUR CAUSE TO PRESERVE AND MAINTAIN THE ALGARVE COASTLINE


NOTE:

By signing this petition you acknowledge that you are joining ASMAA – The Algarve Surf and Marine Activities Association, as a Collaboration Member, and instruct its management to sit down with the various government bodies and companies involved to reach the appropriate resolutions in line with all the association objectives and goals.

We thank you.

The ASMAA Team

ASMAA thanks everyone for their support to date. Please share the site address www.asmaa-algarve.org and the petition with your friends and family.