260,698 of 300,000 signatures

European Parliament and DG Environment European Commission

This petition is run by Ecologistas en Accion

Petition text

To deny authorizations and funds to Spain/Canary Islands to build the planned macro-harbour of Fonsalia (South West Tenerife). This harbour would affect protected habitats and species within the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) Marine Strip Teno-Rasca, including marine turtles, dolphins and whales, with the largest resident population of shortfin pilot whales of Europe.

To integrate the area of Fonsalia within the SAC, because this area was left out of the SAC just for the planning of the harbour, in spite of having natural values continuous with the surrounding SAC, including even a critical area of green turtle, a species in danger of extinction.

Why is this important?

HOPE was a young female shortfin pilot whale who had to be sacrificed in March 2019 because a boat propeller cut her tail. She could have lived to 60 years old, she was killed at three or four. Her family is the largest population of shortfin pilot whales in Europe and resides year round off southwest Tenerife. Now HOPE is a symbol of the marine life of these waters, which are included within the EU Nature-2000 network of protected areas as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC Teno-Rasca).

The SAC protects a large area including all the SW coast of Tenerife, some 30 km from Teno in the North to Rasca in the South. It extends offshore from the coast to waters deeper than 1000 m. But the design of the SAC left an area unprotected: Fonsalía, due to plans to construct a new macro-harbour. The new macro-harbour of Fonsalia would have direct and indirect effects incompatible with the conservation of habitats and species protected under EU Habitats Directive and inhabiting the SAC, such as: seagrass meadows, green and loggerhead sea turtles, bottlenose dolphin and shortfin pilot whale.

The effects of the harbour would be mainly due to direct destruction of habitats, increase in chemical, acoustic and light pollution, and the multiplication of marine traffic. Increasing marine traffic means more ship-strikes with whales and turtles, as well as more human pressure at the SAC, which has been related with high levels of cortisol hormone (indicator of stress) in Tenerife pilot whales. Affecting the species means also affect whale watching, the second touristic activity in Tenerife, with high economic and social value. More info at https://bit.ly/31CvgKi

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