Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Dead fish washed ashore only in ‘red zone’

Gary Aboud, head of Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS), yesterday said dead fishes have not washed ashore in areas south of La Brea or north of Otaheite.

The dead fishes, crab, shrimp, pelicans and corbeaux have only washed ashore in the Petrotrin oil spill “red zone disaster area”, he said.

Aboud said the affected populations were the bottom feeders in the Gulf of Paria, near to the red zone disaster area. He said none of the blue water surface fish, including carite, king fish, bonito, marlin, mahi mahi and tuna, have washed up dead. 

“These surface fish are migratory and do not live in the red zone disaster area. It appears that migratory surface fish such as carite, king fish, bonito, marlin, dolphin and tuna may not be affected and may be safe to catch in the Gulf of Paria, but are safe if caught on the east, south and north coasts of Trinidad and on all coasts of Tobago,” he said.

And he called on the Government to monitor the incident on an ongoing basis, as an extreme emergency.

He said Minister of Energy Kevin Ramnarine must reveal how much dispersant Corexit 9500 was used in the oil-spill clean-up.

The FFOS has called on the Institute of Marine Affairs and Environmental Management Authority for clearance on whether it is safe to eat fish caught, or to swim, in the Gulf of Paria. 

The group asked for blood tests to be taken on members of all of the borderline La Brea communities who have been most exposed to these carcinogens to determine the level of ingestion and whether the risks of degenerative decease has increased for these sample groups.

Aboud said there was need for an independent investigation into the national disaster. He said “No Playing or Swimming” signs should be placed on all beaches where fish, birds, crabs and dogs were found dead, and where residual Corexit oil is evident at low tide on the beaches.