Author Topic: Dolphins, or oil rigs?  (Read 796 times)

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Online Maik

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Dolphins, or oil rigs?
« on: Friday, 07 June, 2019 @ 15:16:37 »
'Why replace dolphins with oil drilling?': the battle for Greece's marine life

Before the giants of oil and gas joined the litany of threats facing Greek sperm whales, the plight of the world’s largest-toothed animal was little known.

Like the Hellenic trench, which was discovered only two decades ago and is the habitat most associated with the species, the mammals were once the preserve of dedicated oceanographers. Now international eco-warriors, bent on stopping oil companies drilling for underwater reserves, are determined to put both the region and its unique species on the map.

At stake is an unusually endangered zone. One of the world’s most significant marine mammal areas, it is home not only to the sperm whale, Greece’s chief predator, but fin whales, Cuvier’s beaked whales, fast-vanishing common dolphins, Mediterranean monk seals and loggerhead sea turtles. All face mortal danger if, as planned, exploration for hydrocarbons is conducted off the country’s western coast.

The Hellenic trench runs from the north of Corfu in the Ionian Sea to the south of Crete – an area equivalent to 56,000 sq km, nearly twice the size of Belgium.