#DALKEY ISLAND PROSPECT - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has joined the chorus of opposition to the proposed oil and gas exploration off Dalkey Island in Co Dublin.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Providence Resources has applied for a foreshore licence to search for oil or gas about 6km out to sea on the Kish Bank Basin.
But the prospect has provoked a split in the local community over the potential risks and benefits, with many calling for a public enquiry into the licence before it is granted.
"The Kish Bank and adjacent waters are important for cetaceans," said the group in a statement. "In addition, sightings of bottlenose dolphins have increased dramatically in the area following the presence of a group of three individuals since August 2010."
The IWDG is concerned about the potential effects on dolphins and porpoises that "could due to noise generated from the drilling process", noting that "there is little published data on the intensity and effects of sound generated by drilling".
Protest group Protect Our Coast has launched a online petition against the Dalkey Island Prospect citing concerns over the proximity of the drilling area to the mainland as well as the Special Protection Area of Dalkey Island, which is a haven for marine wildlife.