During the festival we will be running an intensive awareness campaign across the Algarve, stopping in at least 31 towns.
During these 6 weeks we aim to inform the general population and our visitors of what is being planned, what are the risks and what we can do. It is ASMAA’s intent to alert the public to the risks to the marine ecosystem and to highlight the fact that the areas chosen for the drilling have permanent seismic activity which heightens the risk of accidents during drilling for natural gas or oil.
This campaign is the result of more than 3 years of studies and research conducted against major challenges and facing major secrecy of what is really being planned by the Portuguese government and by the companies to whom concessions have been awarded. This year (2014) and for the first time Repsol and Galp have confirmed that they will be drilling in the Algarve in 2015.
There is no doubt in our minds that this drilling exercise coupled with the chronic lack of information and its many identified risks will in fact negatively impact on tourism, on our ocean going activities both for pleasure and business and that these needs to be seriously addressed by the government.
Our online petition has already received nearly 5000 signatures, but it is far short of our target of 100,000 signatures which we plan to gather until August 2015 ... as information reaches us, we have moved our campaign accordingly to a later date - so that we can submit the issue to the Portuguese Parliament and the European Commission to insist on an economic, social and environmental impact study on oil and natural gas extraction off the Algarve coastline, to promote public discussion in the Algarve municipalities and to organize a referendum.
Oil exploration in the Algarve already has already been challenged with parliamentary questions put by MP Mendes Bota outlining the environmental risks, criticizing the lack of financial compensation to the state and the lack of any public discussion, as well as the parliamentary group of the PCP (Portuguese Communist Party).
In 2012 the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries responded to the parliamentary group of the Communist Party questions, saying that the planned exploration will be "beyond 12 nautical miles and between 400 and 600 meters deep in an area not covered by the Natura 2000 network and outside the National Ecological Reserve "and that the scheduled quantities of extraction do not require an Environmental Impact Assessment.”
It is a very worrying factor listening what the ministry and the government are saying in regards to this matter, because according to our own research the depths range between 200 and 3000 meters, with a reserved area of 15,000 Km2.
For more information about the campaign please visit our main site: Click here to be redirected