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2013 La Brea Oil Spill
The Lagoon of Doom- Death on Carat Shed Beach, La Brea

The Lagoon of Doom- Death on Carat Shed Beach, La Brea

Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) secretary Gary Aboud, removes the carcus of a dead pelican from the Carat Beach facility, La Brea, yesterday. -Photo: DEXTER PHILIP

Date: February 26th , 2018

Dear Editor/Newsroom,

Today 26th February 2017, in our fifth year since the Petrotrin 2013 oil spill, eleven (11) species of fish (herring, blinch, rokando, salmon, catfish, moonshine, plato, blow/puffer fish, fowl fish, branch and mullet), pelicans, cobeaux, frigate birds and crabs continue to wash ashore dead on Carat Shed Beach La Brea. Once again, Carat Shed and Point Sable Beaches are contaminated with dead marine species.

If the Hon. Minister Robinson-Regis claims that the “fish are safe to eat” based on the USFDA analysis of fish in Trinidad coastal areas done in 2016, then what is relentlessly killing these pelicans, corbeau, frigate birds, and a wide variety of demersal and pelagic fish in La Brea? This is Lenten season and larger than normal quantities of fish are being consumed. FFOS continue to appeal to Our Right Honourable Prime Minister to consider the vulnerable Southern community who are being exposed first hand to the same contaminants which is killing these species each day. FFOS call on our Prime Minister to intervene and guide these fishing communities on the safety of the consumption of these fish. The beaches La Brea are covered with dead fish every time there are periods of heavy rainfall or strong tidal movement. This is the only area in Trinidad where marine species such as fish, crabs, shrimp, pelicans, dolphins, sting rays and large predatory birds have been washing ashore dead and dying continuously since this 2013 Petrotrin (alleged 7000 barrel) Oil disaster. The Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) and the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) have been testing the sand, water and flesh samples of the dead specimens and yet the cause of death of these marine species has never been made public. Why this continuous shroud of secrecy when dealing with matters of public health? The fisherfolk and residents of La Brea swim and fish on these beaches.

FFOS commissioned a University study which showed there are “significant levels” of PAHS (poly cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) in fish caught live on Point Sable Beach, La Brea, and that consumption of these fish would expose consumers to “significant dangers”. A Professor said this, not FFOS. FFOS are concerned that there is a deliberate conspiracy to deny public access to information, and to protect Petrotrin from its liability to those residents and fishers who are without a voice. COREXIT 9500 amplifies the toxicity of the hydrocarbon by over 50 times. Who is protecting the vulnerable human and nonhuman communities exposed to the toxic and fatal COREXIT 9500? Who is speaking for the marine animals who reside in this area and continue to die day after day? Unless there is social, economic and ecological justice our nation will continue to suffer.

Gary Aboud
Corporate Secretary

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