Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 12th 2015 Contents A14
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Below are excerpts from my con-
versation with 26-year-old fisher-
man, Simba Garraway, who pas-
sionately discussed what he and
other fishermen see as the detri-
mental effects of the increasing
number of oil rigs in Tobago
waters---the chemicals, the oil, the
underwater explosions from seis-
mic surveys and the devastating
effect these have on marine animals
and, by extension, the fishing
1. "How the fish fins supposed to
be is not how it is anymore. I see
it a lot. Something is causing it.
Big fish come up with sores on
their body. We throw it away. They
don t have any scales. It s like
deformed fish. They have thin,
discoloured skin. You see 95 good
fish and five are like that. I think
due to the drilling and the bomb-
ing, there is radiation affecting
the fish. We never used to have
these things here."
2. "These frequencies attract big fish
and when you have only big fish
you can t catch any other. I talking
big fish---2,000 or 3,000 pounds
. . . fish I wouldn t be able to catch
inmyboat. . .fishweneverhad
in our waters."
3. "Sometimes when they doing
blasting, fish jumping sky high
outofthesea. . .fourorfive
metres. I went diving four of five
months ago . . . everything is
down in a hole, frightened. You
see fish like they running. Just
busy and chaos."
4. "You ever see one dolphin by
itself? Dolphins don t be by they-
self. But they send the air with
so much speed through the water
. . . deafening fish, whales, dol-
phins, turtles. I see a lot of lone
rangers out there...no hearing to
keep with their school of dolphins
or whales...and eventually they
die. A dolphin looks for bait
together, they circle and herd in
the bait and when it gets thick
they feed. But when they are deaf
and lose their sense of commu-
nication they cannot move in
5. "A few years ago, BHP wanted to
compensate fishermen for what
they were doing. The info they
got as a fishing association was
that they cannot continue their
daily routine because they would
be drilling 40 miles from Buccoo.
It affected us real bad, and it was
onlyonerig. . ."
6. "A lot of people have their boats
parked up because things are bad.
These days it s hard to stay out
for two days and catch nothing."
7. "Just now you will pay $50/lb for
fish. I have friends who used to
have thousands of pounds of fish
in their coolers. Now if they have
600 pounds they lucky. You know
where they getting their fish?
From Spanish boats coming into
8. "They are putting things in place
to have 17 oil rigs around Tobago.
When they fulfill what they are
trying to do...It affects the under-
sea life...the reefs. Fishermen
under pressure and that leads to
crime...a lot of stealing. I m not
the only one paying back a loan."
9. "It s a give and take with this oil
thing. If we don t have oil we
can t fish because our engines
need oil. But if they continue with
the drilling we won t have fish."
Here, his mother, who has been
pottering around nearby, steps in:
"One of the oldest industries in
Tobago is at risk here. Fishing and
tourism are the only industries we
"We don t have anything else."
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