The campaign launched by Ben Magec Ecologists in Action against the construction of the port of Fonsalía, in Guía de Isora, has collected more than 400,000 signatures, over 417,000.
‘Act for Hope’ is by far the campaign with the most adhesions of all that are active on the ‘You Move Europe’ website, which also includes similar initiatives against the Chira Soria hydroelectric project, in Gran Canaria, or in favor of renewable energies in the Canary Islands compatible with biodiversity.
The title of the campaign against the port of Fonsalía pays tribute to ‘Hope’, a tropical pilot whale that had to be euthanized in the southwest of Tenerife in March 2019 because a ship’s propeller cut off its tail.
In the text of his petition, Ben Magec requests the denial of permits and funds for the construction of the port, because, he claims, it would “attempt” against the values protected by the Teno-Rasca Marine Strip (ZEC), which surrounds to Fonsalía. It abounds in the fact that the design of the ZEC, which extends to a depth of more than 1,000 meters and protects the entire southwest coast of Tenerife, some 30 kilometers from Teno in the north to La Rasca in the south, left a “hole” in the middle, Fonsalía , between Alcalá and San Juan.
The construction of a port in that enclave, emphasizes the environmental organization, “would have incompatible direct and indirect impacts” on habitats and species protected at European level and present in the ZEC, such as seagrass meadows, known as “sebadales”, sea turtles loggerhead and green, bottlenose dolphin and pilot whale.
Ben Magec also argues that there is sufficient port infrastructure already operational in Tenerife, and that the saturation of the Los Cristianos could be solved with “better management” of the schedules of the shipping companies that operate there and accessibility by land.
The project has generated intense business and political debate. On the one hand, the construction employers in the Tenerife province (Fepeco), the Port Authority and councils of Tenerife, La Palma and La Gomera defend the construction of the port of Fonsalía, which also received the support of all parliamentary groups except that of If we can.
The president of the Cabildo de Tenerife, the socialist Pedro Martín, has become one of the main defenders of Fonsalía. The other, his counterpart in La Gomera and leader of ASG, Casimiro Curbelo. Opposite are, in addition to the environmental organizations, the mayor of Arona, José Julián Mena, expelled from the PSOE, and Nueva Canarias, a formation to which the Canarian vice president and finance minister, Román Rodríguez belongs.