Exploratory Oil Drilling Begins in the Canary Islands: The Battle Continues!

Christmas does not always bring good surprises. The Keepers of the Coast campaign 'No Oil in Canary Islands' is far from over. Despite the strong opposition from regional government, residents and environmentalists, prospect oil drilling began in the Canaries at the end of November. And yet, there are significant arguments against this project, which led the Canary Islands' government to lodge an appeal with the Spanish Supreme Court. The appeal was dismissed by the judges, arguing that the risks incurred were purely hypothetical; but is this not the trademark of what one commonly calls a 'risk'? This wager on probabilities by those who claim to uphold reason strangely evokes a quote by Oscar Wilde: "People who talk sense are like people who break stones in the road: they cover one with dust and splinters."


We have all come across rather worse for wear plastic bottles floating along river banks or stranded on a beach. Where do they come from? What are they doing there? And how long have they been here? These are exactly the types of questions that the Riverine Input project has set out to answer. The project celebrated its first birthday last October. One year is only a short amount of time when it comes to scientific data – departing from a hypothesis and arriving at a scientific result can take months, or even years – but it is long enough to have had important encounters, covered many kilometres, and gained valuable field experience. So what has happened in a year?

OSPAR rubbish collection, a step forward in environmental protection

Surfrider Finistère Chapter is a good example of volunteers working hard to protect the marine environment. Since 2010, members of the Finistère antenna, in cooperation with Surfrider’s Britany Office, are toiling to collect waste on Porsmilin beach at Plouzané. Surfrider has set up a protocol with the Iroise Marine Natural Park that aims at developing a scientific database on marine litter. The OSPAR litter collections, organised at a European level, will provide reliable data, which is essential to ensure a good protection of the environment. Indeed, by better understanding pollution we can find better ways of fighting it and reducing its negative consequences.