One hundred scientists and internationally recognised bodies have issued an appeal to Greek PM Alexis Tsipras to suspend oil drilling and exploration in the Ionian Sea.
They point out that the oil exploration program will have devastating effects on the natural environment and marine life of the country from the very first stage of seismic research.
The areas in question have particular geological and geomorphic features (the Hellenic Trench, which is the deepest part of the Mediterranean Sea, and the Hellenic Arc, which is one of the most seismically active regions in Europe) and they include many different ecosystems.
The Greek seas form the habitats of rare and endangered marine species of the Mediterranean Sea (for instance Fin whales, Sperm whales, Cuvier’s beaked whales, dolphins, the loggerhead sea turtles, and the Mediterranean Monk seals).
For some of them, the area is has a key role in the conservation of the species. In fact, the concession areas cover entire areas of 56 important protected sites and partially 136 of them.
As the groups point out for thousands of years, the waters of Epirus, Ionian sea, and the sea of Crete were of vital importance for the locals. They are a part of our natural and cultural inheritance and we ought to protect them for the future generations.