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Fishermen try to stop seismic surveys

By By Sue-Ann Wayow sue-ann.wayow@trinidadexpress.com

FISHERMEN yesterday attempted to stop seismic surveys from taking place as they surrounded 3D seismic vessels used by Petrotrin out at sea.

Gary Aboud, secretary of Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS), led 14 fishing vessels to Soldado Rock off the coast of Icacos. The fishermen set out at 6 a.m. and remained in the area all day.

Aboud said the action will be conducted every day until proper legislation is put in place to conduct the surveys.

Aboud said massive quantities of oil were discovered on the ocean floor.

He said fishermen were not against the seismic surveys but the manner in which they were being carried out. 

Fishermen will continue to gather data with regard to the effect on fish.

He said the catch now was significantly smaller than what was caught in the same area before the surveys began.

Petrotrin in a release yesterday said the company’s security, Coast and Air Guards were managing the situation.

It stated: “The 510km² Ocean Bottom Cable (OBC) Seismic Survey is being conducted in conformance with

all applicable laws and environmental regulations as Petrotrin continues to pursue its mandate to increase reserves and production.The survey is in keeping with all stipulations laid out in Petrotrin’s lease agreement with the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs for the Trinmar acreage and the approved CEC from the Environmental Management Authority (EMA).”

Petrotrin added: “Every effort will be made to ensure that operations continue in a responsible manner. We continue to advise the public that they should adhere to the advisories published in order to ensure safety of all concerned.”

From December 31, 2013 to January 2, Petrotrin through newspaper advertisements advised all vessels and boats to keep clear of areas where the surveys were being conducted and to give these survey vessels a wide berth. These measures were being implemented in order to safeguard marine operators, other users and the environment Petrotrin said.

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