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2017 Chaguaramas Oil Spill
Dr Rowley’s compensation nightmare has happened! Another oil spill in the Gulf

Dr Rowley’s compensation nightmare has happened! Another oil spill in the Gulf

Date: October 15th 2017

Dear Editor/Newsroom,

Last night (14th October, 2017) there was another massive oil spill in the Gulf of Paria.

Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) first received reports at 1:15 a.m. that thick black oil washed ashore in the entire Chaguaramas area. At 6 a.m. FFOS arrived at the scene and confirmed that a massive oil spill had occurred with thick black oil spreading along the southern side of the entire north-western peninsula of Trinidad in the vicinity of Five Islands, Carrera Island, Constrat Island and Gaspree Island. The area covered in oil appears to be much larger than the city of Port of Spain.

FFOS is immediately calling on the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA), the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) to get out of their beds and fingerprint the oil to determine the source of this oil spill and ensure the culprit is prosecuted and fined an equivalent cost of the damage done to our fisherfolk.

The spilled oil needs to be contained immediately because as it spreads it will thin and cover a much larger area. With the rising tide, by 10 am this oil will wash ashore in Port of Spain.

  1. Who is going to clean up this spill?
  2. Will they use the same deadly COREXIT in the inshore marine fisheries where it is not permitted?

Every day fish is still washing up dead or dying in the south western peninsula where COREXIT was illegally used inshore, in the December 2013 oil spills.

FFOS warn all mariners and fisher folk who fish or traverse in the Gulf of Paria to be cautious and be on the lookout for very large volumes of this thick black crude oil.

Mariners are asked to call FFOS (355-7672) to report any and all sightings of crude oil and to call the EMA’s emergency hotline (680-9588) which FFOS has called 12 times this morning without answer.

To date to there are no emergency numbers posted in our fisher communities, to educate our seafarers of who to call on Sunday morning at 1:15 am to respond to a national disaster such as this.

FFOS are calling on Parliament to mandate legislation that will command full emergency investigative authority to inspect every single vessel, tanker, pipeline, oil terminal refinery, or tank farm who are suspects in this national catastrophe.

Why have all prior the finger printing exercises failed? Every year the Chaguaramas area suffers from massive oil spills and no one has ever been prosecuted or fined.

Today 8 hours has passed since the first report of this oil spill, yet there are no authorities on site containing, cleaning up, investigating or finger printing …nothing. What is the value of the National Spill Contingency Plan if there is no legislation to command its staff to respond?

FFOS are calling on our Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley to respond as to how he is going to compensate our fisherfolk for this national disaster which has covered the marine space of the Chaguaramas National Park and as to whether the fish are safe to eat.

If FFOS did not report this disaster, would it have gone unnoticed?

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