Science

Over 26,600 people sign petition against Ajaccio cruises – Sciences et Avenir

A petition calling for a ban on cruise ships in Ajaccio due to pollution comparable to actions taken in Marseille and around the Mediterranean passed 26,600 signatures on Wednesday in the city of about 71,000 people.

“The Stop Croisières Ajaccio fight is part of a national, European and international movement: discontent is growing everywhere and citizens are rising up against mass tourism that is destroying our environment, and in particular against these giant, completely anachronistic cruise ships in our time.” , says in a press release the Stop Croisières Ajaccio collective, which is the source of the petition.

The petition was submitted this week to the City Hall of Ajaccio, to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Corsica (CCI) of the South, which manages the port, to the Community of Corsica and to the Presidency of the Republic, specifies the collective.

According to the CCI website, Ajaccio is expected to take in about 230 cruise ships for the 2022 season, meaning “one to four boats per day” and up to “6,000 passengers” per day, the team regrets.

According to AtmoSud, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur air quality monitoring body, a cruise ship moored for an hour ejects up to 30,000 cars traveling at 30 km/h.

Dissatisfaction with cruises is growing all along the French Mediterranean coast, as has already been the case in Spain or Venice (Italy), which have banned large liners from their UNESCO-classified historic centre.

Corsican independence activists delayed the docking of the liner in Ajaccio in July, and a few days later staged a demonstration.

The autonomist, President of the Executive Council, Gilles Simeoni, acknowledged in July that “this type of stay on polluting megaboats is not in line with the principles of sustainable tourism.”

And the Mayor’s Office of Ajaccio called on the institutions and economic actors concerned to find “solutions to eliminate the observed troubles and find a balance between economic development and environmental protection.”

Demonstrators denounce air pollution caused by cruise ships in particular on June 11, 2022 in Marseille (AFP/Archive – Christophe Simon)

In Marseille, activists briefly blocked the world’s largest liner in June, and mayor Benoît Payan launched a similar petition against marine pollution, signed by about 52,000 people in the city of more than 870,000 to date.

It was in La Ciotat (Bouches-du-Rhone) on Tuesday that locals supported by Attac, Alternatiba and Stop Cruises demonstrated in canoes and sailboats to protest the arrival of cruise ships docked offshore this summer.

The European mobilization against mass tourism is scheduled for the end of September.

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