Start of the fight : 16/05/2012
Fight won by : Gabriel
At the origin of this conflict is a seabed mining project spanning an area of 11.7km2, as well as the dredging of loose sediments from the Bilbao River. The second project is illegal because it does not specify all the materials which are to be extracted. The effects of this dredging on the beaches of Arrigunaga and Ereaga could prove to be irreversible.
The Keeper, Gabriel, is an active member of the 'Abra Bizirik ' platform, which fights against the illegal dredging of sand in Getxo. Surfrider teamed up with this platform to elaborate a parliamentary question on the illegality of the dredging in the Bilbao River. Around the same time, the Muskiz city council organised a 'Sea Week', where they celebrated their maritime heritage and announced their opposition to any sand extraction in the area. Pierre-Yves Cousteau, son of the famous Commandant Cousteau, was a special invitee at this event.
Speaking out against this project, the Keeper has participated in meetings and has organised events and demonstrations, trying to mobilise as many members of the 'surfing community' as possible around this issue. On the 16th of December 2012, the movement Abra Bizirik Getxoko Plataform invited all citizens who wanted to oppose the project to join them. There was strong mobilisation around the Keeper and the collective as several hundred people turned out to express their opposition to the sand extraction at Getxo.
Gabriel is a member of the 'Abra Bizirik Getxoko Plataform' movement.
16th of May 2012: The 'El Correo' newspaper publishes an article announcing the possibility that the Spanish Environment Ministry may not sign the environmental impact statement. The port authorities have not yet submitted all of the required studies and reports.
21st of May 2012: Meeting with the Abra Bizirik platform to participate in the drafting of a parliamentary question.
3rd of June 2012: The Muskiz town council clearly expresses its opposition to any sand extraction in the area and presents appropriate arguments.
21st of June 2012: The Muskiz town council organises the 'Sea Week' event, a week of celebrations of its maritime heritage, during which it asserts its opposition to any sand extraction in the area. The following topics are addressed: Cases of beach pollution, blue flag classification, and the sand extraction and dredging planned by the port authorities. Pierre-Yves Cousteau is among the invitees.
The parliamentary question is submitted to Raul Romeva I Rueda (Spanish MEP).
16th of December 2012: Demonstration
The movement Abra Bizirik Getxoko Plataform invites all citizens who want to oppose the project to join them. There is strong mobilisation around the Keeper and the collective as several hundred people turn out to express their opposition to the sand extraction at Getxo.
May 2016: The dredger is arrived ...! A meeting is organized by the Abra Bizirik Getxoko Plataform at 7:30 pm in the Old Port Etxetxu algortarra for this campaign of denunciation which began more than three years ago. Dredged sands are contaminated and the consequences would be devastating the ecosystem. The environmental impact assessment raised on behalf of the port authority adds that the beaches of Arrigunaga and Ereaga will be affected by this "giant dredging".