Oppose this scheme

As press officer for ‘Save Our Marine Mammals’ we are delighted that what SOMM has been saying from the moment the Atlantic Array hit the headlines is now being taken seriously. Our leaflets stated that:

(a) Harbour porpoises are an EU protected species. EU Habitats Regulations 92/43/EEC (which the UK Government must be compliant with under the rule of law) protects all aspects of their lives, their habitat and their natural range.

(b) EU Habitat Regulations state that no noisy construction work (eg “pile-driving”) can be carried out during their breeding/rearing season which is May to September.

(c) Before applying for planning permission, an appropriate EIA must be carried out to assess any adverse effect on an EU protected species and their habitat.

Last year, members of SOMM got together with campaigning groups in Wales to share information and build alliances.

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We have just returned from another week meeting up with campaigners; visiting the Pembrokeshire islands of Skomer and Stokholm - clearly one of the best places in the UK for wildlife watching.

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is a national treasure; a haven for wildlife and a paradise for wildlife lovers. It has international importance. Choughs, peregrines, porpoises, seals, orcas, gannet colonies, shearwaters, puffins and many more.

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We went over The Gower, which was spectacular and probably would be the worst affected area if the Atlantic Array goes ahead.

We all have a duty and responsibility to protect our beautiful and wild open spaces.

Pile-driving is a horrendous method used to drive the turbine bases into the sea that injures and kills marine mammals. Do not let the mountains of data supplied by developers intimidate you into thinking that commenting of this huge ‘big business’ scheme is beyond the average man in the street.

Imagine what 50-men using pneumatic drills in your living room would do to your hearing and your sanity. Underwater - sound carries much further than on land. Marine mammals need sonar/echo location to find food, ‘romance’ and to live their lives.

Without it, they are dead. Internal organs are shattered by this unimaginable loud noise. Do we humans have the right to kill them?

Despite what developers and their supporters may say - there are no mitigation measures to safeguard these delightful and much-loved creatures from pile-driving.

Remember when they said on shore turbines don’t slice up birds! All wildlife numbers are decreasing. If we care about our coastlines, wildlife, seabirds, fishing and tourist industry, and the sort of world we want our children to inherit - please get involved.

North Devon District and Torridge District Council should do their duty and represent the wishes of the overwhelming majority of people in North Devon - and oppose this ghastly scheme.

Joanne Bell

Save Our Marine Mammals

38 West Yelland

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