Ecologists win a battle against oil companies in the south of France, but the war is not over yet.
On April 8, 2012, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society took part in a massive opposition event on the beach of Bregançon, in the south of France, to oppose off-shore drilling in the Mediterranean Sea. The project site was to be off the coast of France, near Marseille and was to be carried out by the Melrose Oil Company.
The opposition was initiated by José Bové, who now proudly flies the Sea Shepherd Jolly Roger flag on his ship. Mister Bové had met the week before with Captain Paul Watson and Lamya Essemlali, President of Sea Shepherd France, to invite Sea Shepherd to join the event.
Thanks to the strong opposition of citizens, the French government finally refused to allow Melrose to drill off the coast, but many other drilling projects are still pending. Sea Shepherd activsts were among thousands of activists that day, along with a ship proudly flying the Jolly Roger. As a French reporter stated the arrival of the pirates did not go unnoticed.
"We do not ever want to see what happened in the Gulf of Mexico, happen here in the Med" said Lamya Essemlali. "Every time the government will be tempted to sell out the marine biodiversity to oil companies, they must know that we, citizens and NGO's, will be there to oppose it. This is just the beginning of an ongoing resistance to oil companies".