Scientists on board the Greenpeace ship Esperanza have been exploring one of the ‘blocks’ where Total and BP want to drill for oil.
The oil companies had told the Brazilian government that this block was likely to be miles away from the reef.
They were wrong.
Navigating a remote-controlled submarine through swirling currents, the scientists found a new section of the Amazon Reef – right in the area where Total and BP want to drill.
The research team now think the Amazon Reef could cover over 56,000 square kilometres, making it one of the biggest reef systems in the world. They’re talking about potential new species, and an undiscovered wildlife “corridor” stretching up as far as the Caribbean. This is serious stuff, and we’ve barely scratched the surface.
Brazil’s environment agency is deciding whether to give Total final approval to start drilling – and this discovery should stop them in their tracks.
We now know that the oil companies’ plans are even more dangerous than we thought. But this discovery should also remind us how unwise it is to start drilling in places that we barely understand.
The more we learn about the Amazon Reef, the more fascinating it becomes. And the more reckless it seems to drill for oil here.