THE Canadian multinational CNWL OIL is set to begin prospecting for oil and gas off the coast of Nerja and Torrox.
The surveys, which will last for approximately one month, will cover a marine area of 150,000 hectares.
It comes after the controversial project, which has been in the pipeline since 2006, was licensed by the previous government last year in spite of strong opposition from local politicians and environmental groups.
In particular, Torrox mayor Francisco Muñoz, has stressed that tourism and fishing must take precedence over other industries.
“The priority must be to not threaten tourism, which is the main source of income for the Costa del Sol.
“If this action has any negative impact on this sector or on the fishing industry, which in the port of Caleta is one of the most important in Malaga, the government should halt the project.”
Meanwhile Axarquia green party Equo has argued that any drilling could pose a high safety risk to people and marine life in the event of an accident.
“This activity will further impact on a coast already damaged by decades of urban and tourist development and is an obvious risk to a major breeding area for whales in the Mediterranean,” the group added.