A dozen fishing vessels stained by the oil spills in the Gulf of Paria were cleaned and polished yesterday.
The pirogues were taken to a restricted area at Point Sable Beach, La Brea, where workers began the clean-up exercise. The boats were washed with a chemical, De-Oil-It, and then polished.
De-Oil-It detoxifies petroleum waste, allowing bacteria found in the air, water and ground to break it down naturally, the Sunday Express was told.
The chemical requires no disposal and it is completely safe for the environment, president of the La Brea Fisherfolk Association, Alvin La Borde, said.
Residents employed in the beach clean-up said work stopped this weekend to facilitate clean-up of the fishing vessels. The beach clean-up will resume tomorrow.
La Borde said 28 fishing boats were affected by the oil spills, which washed ashore on the southwestern peninsula on December 18.
He said a dozen boats were cleaned yesterday. “The boat clean-up is expected to be completed this weekend. We are pleased with the chemical being used and with the pace of clean-up,” he said.
La Borde said fishermen in La Brea were unable to return to the ocean, as their boats were covered in thick, black oil.
“And we will not go back until we are certain that all the oil is cleaned and there is no more in the water,” he said.
Residents in La Brea said they were looking forward to having their lives returned to normal.
Marie Green said families were still receiving meals from Petrotrin and children were restricted to their houses. “We cannot send them outside because the water not clean. We have to be cautious. I hope we get our lives back soon,” she said.