With 2D seismic surveys of oil and gas reserves along 15,000 kilometres of Croatia’s Adriatic sea complete, and the Croatian government announcing an international tender for exploration and exploitation, wheels are in motion for drilling to start on Croatia’s pristine coast as early as 2016. The move to explore oil and gas reserves has upset many, with Croatia so reliant on tourism. Clean Adriatic Sea Alliance (CASA), a united group of citizens for preservation of the Adriatic Sea, have responded by launching a petition to try to stop the action. Addressed to both EU and Croatian leaders, the letter below explains the group’s position.
I kindly ask you to stop plans to drill for oil and gas in the Croatian Adriatic Sea.These plans would seriously damage the environment and the people that live in the region.
This region is one of the world’s most treasured travel destinations. In fact, the Croatian Adriatic has served millions of European tourists for many decades. Tourism is the largest contributor to the Croatian service sector and its several billion euro yearly income makes up a significant portion of the nation’s GDP. Tourism’s positive effects are felt throughout the economy of Croatia in increased business volume throughout other sectors. The visitor is drawn to the pristine, natural beauty of the Croatian Adriatic. Oil and gas exploration would damage that beauty and culture which is vital for economic survival of the coastal region.
The entire offshore drilling process creates pollution detrimental to humans and marine life for the life of the project. Offshore platforms dump drilling fluid and metal cuttings, which include toxins such as lead chromium, mercury, and benzene, directly into the sea. One drilling platform can discharge 90,000 metric tons of drilling fluids and metal cuttings into the sea, all damaging marine life and water quality. In addition to drilling platforms, any oil tanker traffic through this sea would risk polluting the water even further, as every year 635,000 tonnes of crude oil are spilled by vessels into the Mediterranean Sea.
All of this within kilometers of protected marine areas and over a thousand Croatian islands and islets. The nation’s most important natural treasure, the Adriatic Sea, must be protected. It is absolutely clear that this project is incompatible with the protection of the Croatian Adriatic Sea and must be stopped.
You can support the petition here