Letter: FFOS calls for ‘state of emergency’ on the Gulf of Paria fisheries

Letter: FFOS calls for ‘state of emergency’ on the Gulf of Paria fisheries

Dear Sir:

If the government says the fish from the Gulf of Paria are safe to eat then why is there continuous death of marine species from Mosquito Creek to Point Fortin?

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The two dolphins found dead on Thursday 30th March in the heart of La Brea bring the total number of dead dolphins since the December 17, 2013, oil spills to over 20. Let us deduce from some of the facts, and consider the following:

1. No dolphins/fishes or birds have been dying anywhere on the north, east or south coasts of Trinidad or anywhere else in Gulf of Paria except from Mosquito Creek to Point Fortin.

2. The area from Mosquito Creek to Point Fortin was heavily impacted by the 2013 oil spills (where the dispersant COREXIT was applied).

3. Nowhere else in Trinidad and Tobago was COREXIT used in the inshore fishery.

4. Nowhere else in Trinidad and Tobago did COREXIT ever wash ashore and become lodged in the mangroves, the lagoon or on the beaches.

5. All of the dolphins and most of the fish have particular symptomatic lesions.

6. Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) have recorded on film with witnesses, living species which bear these same lesions and skin markings.

7. FFOS video footage shows conclusively that these skin conditions cannot be postmortem markings as some eminent scientists continue to state in error.

FFOS have deduced that there is a correlation between the sudden hydrocarbon contamination of this area and the mortality of millions of specimens over the past four years. What do you think?

FFOS have stated over the past four years that the fish from this area in particular should not be caught and sold until:

1. The recurring cause of death of the various species of fish such as bonito, salmon, joshua, blinch, sapate, cro-cro, snapper, mullet and other species such as dolphins, corbeaux and pelicans are determined.

2. The area is cleaned up (which may already be too late as the emulsified hydrocarbons/COREXIT continue to dissolve and spread out of the areas where it is was initially lodged in the shallow lagoon area, in the mangroves and in the sand on the recreational La Brea beaches.

3. There is continuous testing to deem whether the fish of this area are safe for human consumption (based on consumption rates for fish consumers).

FFOS have warned that the “precautionary principle” is not being observed and fish and shrimp consumers locally and abroad are being put in danger. To continue to allow consumption of sick and dying species is irresponsible, and is a reckless endangerment that is unbecoming of our elected public administrators. What do you think? What should we do?

FFOS continue as a messenger in the wilderness to advise the public to be mindful of the possible carcinogenic dangers that this government is ignoring, and warn that as has occurred annually since 2013, when the upcoming heavy rains arrive and flush the La Brea/Otaheiti mangroves, we will have a surge of mortalities once again.

FFOS will not go away and will continue to appeal to the stable judgment of the minister of health (and the now dissolved ministry of environment) to bring science to bear not only on the cause of death of these specimens, but also to determine the trigger which is causing a continuous and unusually high rate of mortality of various species from Mosquito Creek to Point Fortin. Unless we use science with certainty, in the same way we have a surge of sick fish, we will have a surge of sick persons.

Gary Aboud
Corporate Secretary
FFOS

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