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Call an Environmental State of Emergency now

Published: 
Saturday, February 6, 2016

On the eve of Lent, thousands of dead fish have once again started to wash ashore daily since January 31, on the beaches of La Brea. These are the same beaches where Petrotrin used Corexit 95 in response to its massive oil spills.

There is a direct and undeniable correlation between the Petrotrin oil spill of December 2013 in this definite area, the Corexit 9500 which was used in this definite area, and the hundreds of thousands of sick and dying fish which are washing ashore almost dead only in this area.

Corexit 95 emulsifies petrochemicals which then easily enter into the food chain of which humans are at the top. Ingested petrochemicals will kill all creatures including us, humans.

FFOS has dived and uncovered Corexit 95/petrochemical submerged in the nearshore marine area. FFOS has also located large quantities of Corexit 95 lodged onshore under the sand where children play in La Brea. Why has the Institute of Marine Affairs, IMA and the Environmental Management Authority, EMA never consulting with us as to where these locations are?

In the last week the tides and winds have changed and strong gales are now blowing from the west. These westerly winds have reversed the tidal movements. Whenever the tidal movement changes the Corexit 95 becomes dislodged/exposed and we have major fish kills.

The uninformed argue that these fish are being dumped as by-catch discard but on Thursday, members of the media saw for themselves that many of the poisoned and dying fish that were washing up were still alive.

This is not the first time. Annually we have in excess of six major fish kills only in this specific “Red Zone” area. Regretfully, the past Government did nothing to help, and smothered every investigative report.

FFOS is appealing to the Minister of Agriculture to make public the multidisciplinary investigative task force report. This report to date has not been shared with the public and remains secretly locked away behind closed doors. 

What is secret about public health? Either the fish is safe to eat or it is not. The mere fact that the report remains hidden is a suggestion, if not a definitive indicator, that something is dangerously wrong. This is too serious a matter for us to turn our eyes! If fish are contaminated with cancer-causing agents, then the public health is at stake and our 8,000-plus Gulf of Paria stakeholders will be further deprived of their sole livlihood.

This matter can no longer be treated as a private issue. The Government must deal with this as an Environmental State of Emergency now.

Terrence Beddoe,

President,

Gary Aboud,

Secretary,

FFOS

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