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Challenges of the Fishery
The Chaguaramas Fish Kill Continues……

The Chaguaramas Fish Kill Continues……

Date: May 25th , 2017

Dear Editor/Newsroom,

The Chaguaramas Fish Kill Continues…….

Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) report that on Monday 22nd May at 6.30pm, tens of thousands of dead fishes including red herring mixed with demersal species were observed floating in the Chaguaramas Basin closer to Almoorings Fishing Co-operative. (See pictures attached).

The IMA/EMA joint statement stated that “the fish were intentionally dumped by a long-liner vessel which had earlier visited the area”. Their statements were made without any scientific analysis or reporting. FFOS insist that this is not dumped fish!!! The IMA/EMA are unaware of several factors and are all wrong!

Long-liner vessels do not even use this type of bait as these bait fish are too small (2 to 3 ounces) and soft. Instead they use Jacks, a much bigger hardier species of pelagic fish (1-2 lbs in size). Furthermore these smaller bait fish are kept alive in a bait well, so if they are discarded they swim away. If they were dead on board, they would float, not sink. The dead fish in the Chaguaramas Basin which we have photographed sunk to the seafloor. When fish die, they initially sink to the bottom, then after a few hours as they start to decompose they float to the surface.

How does the IMA/EMA explain these ongoing fish kills?

In addition, when bait-fishers are docking in the Chaguaramas Basin, the bait fish caught are penned in the shallow waters. However, the bait-fishers complained that the fish died overnight in the pens. These fishes traditionally survive over a few days in the pens.

Why aren’t the IMA and EMA investigating the concerns and complaints of these fishermen and investigating the cause of death of these fishes?

The shallow waters of the Chaguaramas Basin are contaminated and there is something in the waters that is killing all of the fish in the area daily. After 20 years and over 300 Million dollars in wages, could the IMA/EMA share why they have not taken an inventory of all of the possible sources of toxic contaminants in the Chaguaramas area?

FFOS appeal to the line Minister, the Honorable Robinson-Regis to ensure proper scientific and detailed investigations are conducted to determine what is killing these fishes and to take an inventory of the sources of all discharges in this peninsula.

Unless the IMA are transparent in its findings the livelihood of fishers and the health of fish consumers will be placed at great risks.
Gary Aboud
Corporate Secretary

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