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The oil spill and its dead fish legacy

Published: 
Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Almost two years ago Petrotrin was responsible for a major oil spillage in the Gulf of Paria, once the food basket of the nation and source of livelihood for thousands of fishers. The spill resulted in the death and washing ashore of tens of thousands of fish and hundreds of birds. At that time, FFOS alleged that the inappropriate use of chemical dispersants exacerbated the toxic impact of the spill. 

We also argued that the Corexit 9500 used would become lodged in the mangrove root system and that when the rains came again, it would be released back into the nearshore waters resulting in the death of more fish and birds.

The rains are here now which could have the effect of flushing the Point Sabre mangrove in La Brea again. 

Local fishers have once again begun to report dead fish and shore birds washing onto Point Sable and Carrot Shed Beach. 

On Friday morning, dead pelicans, corbeaux and hundreds of fish were washed ashore.

After the spill, it was widely expected that the prime minister would have made public the report of a specially formulated national environmental task force, an investigative team tasked with evaluating Petrotrin’s response to the spill as well as its potential and residual impact.

FFOS has, under the Freedom of Information Act, requested copies of the Report of the Task Force. To date, the Government has refused to supply such. 

The recent spills make it imperative that the report become public knowledge. FFOS is only concerned as to what the report said and whether it sheds light on the ongoing fiasco of dead creatures in La brea and possibly the wider Gulf of Paria.

Some 50,000 fishers and downstream vendors depend on the environmental integrity of the Gulf. This is an unwanted legacy of the People’s Partnership.

Terrence Beddoe,

Gary Aboud,

FFOS