From: Centro de Estudos e Preservação da Natureza NOVA TERRA
Since march of 1997 dynamite explosions have been taking place daily in Fernando de Noronha Island - Brazil (3°52'S ; 32°28'W). The explosions in Sueste stone quarry are being made by the Queiroz Galvão construction company, and the objective is to obtain 20.000m3 of rock for the work of expansion and recapping of the airport landing strip, military areas and the road that crosses the island (BR 363). The forecast is that the explosions will last until October this year, taking place twice a day, with a series of 5-minute explosions.
Although the explosions are taking place outside the Fernando de Noronha's National Marine Park (PARNAMAR-FN), the processing of the rock takes place within the Park. The Sueste stone quarry is approximately 3.5 km (~2 miles) from Dolphin Bay, the island's main attraction because it is being the place where the Spinner dolphin (Stenella longinostris) come to rest. The impact that such explosions may have on the dolphin is unkown, but these are animals whose hearing is their main form of guidance in their natural environment.
Next to the stone quarry, at Sueste beach, Sea Turtles lay their eggs and feed the whole year round. The site is protected against human interference, but their habits may be altered because of the explosions at the quarry.
We must emphasize that in the entire world only two sites were known where this species of dolphin used a protected area for rest, Fernando de Noronha, in Brazil, and the bay of Keakake'akua, in Hawaii. The dolphin left the latter due to human interference, so the Dolphin Bay, in Fernando de Noronha, is now the only one.
The Environmental Impact Study/Report (EIA/RIMA) submitted by the construction company is at least questionable, as so far there no studies that can determine if the dolphin will not be affected. On the contrary, the Stenella longinostris is considered a sensitive and extremely cautious animal, suspicious of anything unfamiliar. The birds that inhabit the area, as well as other animal species, may also be disturbed by the explosions.
The above-mentioned Study/Report foresees the restoration of the area with resources from the Ministry of the Environment!!! Also proposed is the ongoing monitoring of the Dolphin Bay by experts of the Companhia Pernambucana de Contrôle da Poluição Ambiental e da Administração de Recursos H’dricos (CPRH), a government agency. Representatives of these agencies, however, are not on the island, and a single expert visits the island every two months. As well as the risk that these activities bring to PARNAMAR-FN they indicate an attempt to foster tourism in the area. Until the end of last year a single airline had a daily flight to the Island. In December another airline was authorized to have two daily flights to the Island. Fernando de Noronha is already beginning to suffer with the growth of tourism, especially when cruise ships disembark hordes of tourists on the island.
Limited and guided tourist activity is critical to protect Fernando de Noronha, the National Park and the dolphin.
We solicit the divulgation of these facts and your protest to:
MINISTÉRIO DO MEIO AMBIENTE, DOS RECURSOS HÕDRICOS E DA AMAZÕNIA LEGAL
MR. FERNANDO HENRIQUE CARDOSO - PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL
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C.E.P.N. NOVA TERRA
INSTITUTO DE BIOCIćNCIAS, USP
CEP 05422-970, Brazil
MILTON CÉSAR C. MARCONDES - DVM
LAURA IPPOLITO TORRANO GOMES
Project Dolphin Coordinator