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Fishermen turn to Carmona for help

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fishermen turned to President Anthony Carmona yesterday, seeking his help to prevent planned offshore seismic bombing by a local oil company on November 1. Gary Aboud, of the lobby group Fishermen and Friends of the Sea, said the group was hopeful that something would come out of the meeting with Carmona because the group was not willing to resort to civil disobedience. “The meeting with the President is one of the last hopes we have,” he said. 


Aboud questioned the Environmental Management Authority (EMA)’s decision to issue Certificates of Environmental Clearance (CECs) for the project. The group met the President yesterday morning at the President’s Office, St Ann’s, after writing to him appealing for help. The group previously met with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar two weeks ago to have the issue of seismic bombing addressed.


“Seismic bombing,” as the group has christened the activity, is usually referred to as seismic testing or reflective seismology. It involves causing underwater acoustic explosions and analysing the reflected sound waves to look for possible drilling points for oil and gas. “The sound waves reportedly disturb and distress marine species. Aboud claimed the activity had the effect destroying the country’s renewable fishery resource and affected over 52,000 stakeholders.


The group says local oil companies should be regulated in the same way as in Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, the USA and Venezuela. A release from the group said: “We are confident that our meeting with (the President) will move us closer to solving the crisis in which we have found ourselves where the EMA is granting the big, well known oil companies CECs without requiring any Environment Impact Assessments (EIAs).