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After Whales Stranded Off Corfu’s Coast, Greece Ceases Seismic Work

ATHENS – Seismic surveys in the Ionian Sea were temporarily halted by Greece’s Environment and Energy Ministry over worry it was the reason why three whales floundered in shallows waters off Corfus before volunteers pushed them into deeper waters.

They were said to be Cuvier’s beaked whales who had no obvious signs of health problems that would have put them in such a perilous position, leading to worry that the semisic worked made them go into shallow waters.

The ministry’s Directorate of Environmental Policy requested “immediate and detailed” information from ELPE Upstream, the company conducting the seismic surveys, and the Hellenic Hydrocarbon Resources Management on the its compliance with the conditions included in the environmental action plan, which was approved in May 2021, said Kathimerini.

The ministry also ordered the SW Cook research vessel that conducts the surveys to leave the area until it is clarified  what happened, putting a hold on an energy hunt.

The move came after a letter from 15 environmental organizations was sent to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, asking for the immediate halt of all seismic work, the paper ‘s report also said.

The NGOs said that stopping such work when there is a suspicion of environmental damage is required not only by the company’s contract with the state, but also by national and international law.

 

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