Monday, January 22, 2018

Dead dolphin and fish wash ashore at La Brea

DEAD DOLPHIN: The bottle nose dolphin that washed ashore on the beach at La Brea on Sunday. —Photo: INNIS FRANCIS

DEAD FISH: Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) secretary Gary Aboud looks at some of the dead fish on the beach at La Brea. —Photo courtesy FFOS

The carcassses of a bottle-nose dolphin and other marine life washed ashore at a beach in La Brea at the weekend.

Fishermen are calling for a proper investigation to be conducted to determine how the mammal and fish died.

La Brea Fisherfolk Association president Alvin La Borde said the dolphin was discovered on the seashore at Point Sable Beach on Sunday.

He said fish and pelicans were also found on the coastline.

“We had a lot this weekend. We didn't experience this since the oil spill in La Brea. I am not saying it is a result of the oil spill. But I know there are a lot of companies bordering the shoreline in the Gulf of Paria,” he said.

La Borde said fishermen were concerned the fishes were dying as a result of pollution in the ocean. “We were informed that the companies are not sending in their water samples for testing regularly. We want the EMA to do its job and find out what is happening. This dolphin washed ashore since Sunday and no one came and removed it for testing,” he said.

La Borde said, unlike the last occasion, when one species of dead fish washed ashore, a variety of fish littered the coastline on Sunday.

There were also reports of dead fish washing ashore at Mosquito Creek, South Oropouche, yesterday.

Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) secretary, Gary Aboud, made an appeal to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to make public the published report of the National Environmental Assessment Task Force set up by her Cabinet following the oil spill last year.

“We have been reliably informed that she has it in her possession and has denied sharing with the primary stakeholder, Fishermen and Friends of the Sea. FFOS are only concerned as to what the report said and whether it sheds lights on the on going fiasco of dead creatures in La Brea and possibly the wider Gulf of Paria,” he said.

Aboud questioned whether the deaths were a result of Petrotrin's decision to use Corexit 9500 in the clean up operations, following the oil spills.

He said, “Must we have to have someone die before the Prime Minister says something to us. We not getting into anything political. Let the PNM come forward and say what they going to do to remedy the situation or the ILP on what they going to do for La Brea. We need to find the real solution to the problem.”

The Express was told that Environmental Management Authority (EMA) officials visited the area and took water samples for testing.

Eleven oil spills occurred between December 17 and 29, 2013 in the Gulf of Paria. It was recorded as one of the largest oil spills in the history of Trinidad and Tobago.

State-owned Petrotrin was subsequently fined $20 million by the EMA.