There are at least two often mocked and reviled institutions that come to the fore each time Caribbean societies face the annual challenges of our geography.
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Fishermen ‘de-oil’ boats
Fishermen along the south-western peninsula whose boats were affected by Petrotrin’s 11 oil spills were able to clean their vessels for the first time yesterday using a non-toxic product called “de-oil-it” sourced from the United States. On Friday, brothers Andrew and John Collier, owners of Tank Fuel Services Ltd, along with regional lead of the “de-oil-it” product David Bovell gave president of the La Brea Fishing Association Alvin La Borde and a small group of fishermen a demonstration of the product in the presence of Petrotrin’s officials.
The product when applied on areas covered with oil, Bovell said, has the ability to disarm the toxic molecules, leaving surfaces thoroughly clean. The product, they said, apart from being non toxic to humans, animals and the environment, was also water-based and biodegradable.
Bovell said La Borde was pleased with the product’s effectiveness and gave it his seal of approval. As a result, Petrotrin ordered two barrels of the product. Yesterday, scores of fishermen whose boats were covered in oil last month, were able to clean their vessels at Point Sable in La Brea. Collier (John) said they could supply Petrotrin in excess of 5,000 barrels of de-oil-it daily.
Collier could not say how many barrels of the product would be required by Petrotrin. He said one feature of the product was that “one barrel can be diluted 32 times in water.” De-oil-it, Collier said, has been approved by the Ministry of Energy. Collier could not say what chemical Petrotrin used before in their clean-up exercise. “Our product is the only one that has worked so effectively.” Collier said had Petrotrin used de-oil-it following the initial spill, the clean up would have already been completed.