Sea creature parade to BP HQEthical Energy & Climate News & Features
A parade of a dozen giant tropical sea creatures arrived at BP’s head office in London at the weekend, as part of a Greenpeace protest against its plans to drill for oil near the Amazon Reef.
The procession swam down the Mall, around Trafalgar Square and then across Piccadilly to St James’ Square, where the oil company is based.
Ignoring the reef?
The campaigners delivered a petition with over a million signatures asking BP not to drill near the reef, along with a map to show the company where the reef is. The parade included 12 4m-long tropical fish and jellyfish – including the colourfully named ‘Kylie Minnow’.
‘Everyone at Greenpeace was incredibly excited to be involved in capturing the first images of the Amazon reef, and we’re not about to let BP destroy a natural wonder before it’s even been explored. We’ve brought along these amazing creatures as reef ambassadors and a tiny taste of the beauty that is under threat from BP’s plans.
‘Because their survey of the area missed it entirely, despite it being three times the size of London, we’ve also brought BP a map showing where the reef is, and the signatures of over a million people who don’t want to risk destroying a whole new ecosystem for the sake of oil we can’t afford to burn. However hard they try – and they seem to be trying quite hard – we’re not going to let BP ignore the reef.’
Oil campaigner for Greenpeace UK
Why it matters
The Amazon Reef is a 5,000 square kilometre coral reef in the Amazon Mouth Basin, off the coast of Brazil. It was filmed and photographed for the first time ever by a Greenpeace expedition in February this year, and is a unique, biodiverse and largely unexplored ecosystem.
BP and French oil company Total both intend to drill for oil in the area, with their shared blocks beginning only five miles away from the reef. Many marine scientists have expressed their dismay at the risk of an oil spill devastating the reef before it has even been studied.
BP’s Environmental Impact Assessment of the area, an enormous document many hundreds of pages long, managed to avoid mentioning the 5,000km2 reef even once.
The company’s oil spill response plan includes using the chemical dispersant ‘Corexit’, which is toxic to coral, and relies on Remote Operated Vehicles that may not be able to function in these waters.
Click here to find out more about Greenpeace’s work to defend the oceans.