Wednesday, January 17, 2018

‘No fish advisory until test results’

THERE will no public advisory concerning the dead fish and other animals in the La Brea area unless tests results are obtained from the Environmental Management Authority (EMA).

This according to Minister in the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources Ramona Ramdial yesterday.

Ramdial said since Friday the EMA has been conducting tests in the area, and yesterday samples continued to be collected.

She said: “EMA is under way conducting tests on the fishes. I know a team is down there today, collecting samples, and they are going to be running tests to determine what is happening down there with respect to the fishes and the levels of chemicals in the water. It would take a couple of days to run the tests. Then we can come to a proper remedy first and foremost, and then report to the public what is happening down there.”

Ramdial said: “No advisory would be done from the ministry until we have those reports and tests done on the fish and water samples and any other testing that needs to be done.”

Gary Aboud, president of Fisher­men and Friends of the Sea (FFOS), issued a news release calling on the authorities to state whether fish caught in the Gulf of Paria was safe to eat.

He said: “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. We believe that the Government has been negligent in not monitoring this catastrophe on an ongoing basis as an extreme emergency.” Those fish were migratory and do not live in one fixed spot, Aboud said.

He also called on the Government to place “No Playing or Swimming” signs on all of the beaches where fish, birds, crabs and dogs were being found dead.

Since the inception of the oil spill last year, the EMA have been running a series of tests, and relief and rehabilitation work, Ramdial said, and the EMA has been advising Petrotrin and other stakeholders.