For years, the Stop Uranium Civic Platform and environmental groups have been protesting the proposed open-pit uranium mine that endangers the Yeltes river in the province of Salamanca, Spain. Berkeley, an Australian mining firm, plans to divert river water for its own use, and in the process uproot hundreds of ancient oak trees. The open pit mine and Yellowcake uranium production plant (for nuclear energy) will have serious negative effects on the habitat and the wildlife who call the river home.
Some of the species threatened by this mine are Pseudochondrostoma duriense, Cobitis paludica and sarda salmantina, a unique small fish that lives only in the Yeltes. Its numbers have diminished 67% since 2000.
Excessive radioactivity also presents a serious risk to livestock production as it may contaminate meat products and make them unfit for human consumption. Tourism, another important sector of local economy, would also suffer the consequences of the mine. For example, natural attractions like the Retortillo Baths spa at the river’s edge, as well as the health of those living nearby, will be affected by the radon and radioactive dust produced by the open pit mine. It is important to note that the river banks were declared a special conservation zone and a special bird protection area, which means they come under the regulation of the Nature 2000 Network of the Castilla and Leon region.
The state of Israel imposes a blockade on the population of Gaza, impeding activities such as fishing and farming. The Israeli navy regularly shoots at Palestinian fishers who are just trying to make a living. “In our area, if the uranium mine opens, the life of the river will be ruined, nature and the traditional local way of life based on livestock” say friends of the Yeltes river who protest the destruction of the river. For this reason they support the “Solidarity with Gaza Fishers” campaign and as a show of solidarity, sailed this miniature Flotilla on the beautiful waters of the Yeltes river.