Concern is growing among residents and Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) following the recent discovery of 40 pelican carcases along the Point Sable beach in La Brea.
In an interview with Guardian Media yesterday, FFOS programme director Lisa Premchand explained there have been studies which raised issues with the contents of the water and animals from the Gulf of Paria.
“We simply don’t know what potential effect the eating fish from the Gulf of Paria can have on humans, but there have been FFOS PAH (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) 2016 laboratory report which warns of human threat and the 2019 Aaron Balgobin study which concludes high levels of carcinogenic Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the Gulf of Paria.”
“If pelicans are eating the fish in this area and are dying, what would happen to humans that are eating the fish daily from the gulf?” Premchand asked.
This is why, she said, they have been calling on the Government to commence a scientific monitoring programme to test the water, fish and sand regularly to determine the level of toxicity in the Gulf of Paria to determine its potential effects on humans.
Guardian Media also spoke to a resident of the area and regular to the beach, Wayne Henry who said this has been “happening for years now”.
He said, this has been a regular occurrence since 2013 when there was an oil spill near La Brea.
“Since the oil spill to now, we’ve been battling them kind of battles and it not making no sense,” Henry said frustratedly.
He indicated that both the Environmental Protection Agency (EMA) and Institute for Marine Affairs (IMA) have visited the area and conducted tests over the years. However, he does not trust their assessment.
Guardian Media tried reaching out to the EMA managing director Hayden Romano and IMA director Ahamad Khan for comment on the matter, however, calls went unanswered last evening.
Premchand visited the area with FFOS president Gary Aboud yesterday morning and said they saw “over 40 whole carcases” which were in various stages of decomposition. She said, while they can’t be certain, they also suspect it is related to the 2013 oil spill.
Guardian Media attempted to visit the site yesterday afternoon, however, was advised by Henry to visit during low tide when the carcases would be visible.