Cedros oil spill affects coastline, fishing boats

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Oil on a fishing boat in Cedros on Friday morning. – Courtesy Shankar Teelucksingh

ANOTHER oil spill has developed on the Cedros coastline.

Fisherfolks woke up on Friday morning to find their boats; nets; and rope anchors contaminated with the black liquid, making it impossible for them to venture out to sea.

Several videos posted on social media show the oil on the surface of the sea and shore at Fullarton; and on some vessels.

Former councillor and candidate in the August 14 local elections, Shankar Teelucksingh, told the Newsday the oil started coming onshore late Thursday.

“We don’t know the source or origin if it is a land issue or from a Heritage offshore operation.”

Teelucksingh said he is aware that an oil spill was reported in Guapo and clean operations were being conducted on that site.

“I don’t know if the oil filtered from that site into the water course and came down to Fullarton. What I know is that this morning, fishermen in Bonasse, Fullarton were greeted with heavy oil spill on the shoreline and most of their boats were heavily contaminated.

“Fishermen are angry because they received no compensation regarding their loss of time and some damages from the last three or four oil spills.

An oil spill on the Cedros coastline has affected several boats. – Courtesy Shankar Teelucksingh

“After the closure of Petrotrin, there has been no contingency plan for oil spill response in terms of assistance for fishermen who are heavily dependant on the fishing trade to make an honest day’s work to provide for their families.”

Teelucksingh called for an immediate intervention from the Minister of Energy to assist the burdened fishermen.

“I am also calling on the EMA (Environmental Management Authority) and the IMA (Institute of Marine Affairs) to intervene and put a stop to the contamination which is decreasing the fishing stock.”

He also called on Heritage to make a statement.