Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 13th 2017 Contents A8 news
guardian.co.tt Thursday, July 13, 2017
if it's from T&T
If it is determined that oil residue found on
the Riviera Maya's shores in Mexico are linked
to a Petrotrin spill that occurred in T&T on April
23 this year then the entire board of the State-
owned entity must resign.
The call came from environmentalist Stephen
Broadbridge amid international reports that Mex-
ican authorities were examining oil residues found
on the Riviera Maya's to determine a possible link to
On Tuesday, a report by the Yucatan Times said the
oil had spread "all the way from the island of Trini-
dad to the Mexican Caribbean coast," affecting some
Quintana Roo municipalities, such as Solidaridad and
The municipal director of environment, Orquídea
Trejo Buendia was quoted as saying that an inspection
would have been conducted from Punta Maroma to
the Mayakoba Hotel, detecting the existence of dark
spots of oil residues along the coast.
"It has been determined that the origin of these spots
is linked to the Trinidad incident," the report said.
And if it is proven that this is true, it is also a major
embarrassment to T&T, Broadbridge said.
He said no two oil spills were the same as they were
"It is like a fingerprint because no batch of oil is the
same. You can exactly match it up and if it is so then
the entire board of Petrotrin should resign.
"It is a disgrace not only because of environmen-
tal damage but they have also embarrassed us to the
world," Broadbridge said.
Veterinarian Kriyaan Singh said an oil spill of this
magnitude could have damning effects on wildlife
He said when the April 23 spill occurred, several
birds were rescued but instead of being allowed to be
treated by local vets and non-governmental organ-
isations they were mandated to be taken to the zoo.
"A notice was sent out in March this year that any
rescued wildlife must be taken to the zoo so it did
not take into consideration birds caught in oil spills.
" About 41 birds which were rescued had to be left
in crates at the security booth at the zoo because there
was no one to receive them," Singh said.
It was reported that the birds were placed in pigtail
buckets and by the following day all died. It was also
reported that no autopsies were performed on the birds
so the exact extent of damage to wildlife could not be
determine, Singh said.
"The notice must be amended because it is clear the
zoo cannot handle the amount of wildlife rescued in
our country and there are also not enough facilities
for them. It is unfortunate we do not appreciate our
wildlife and whenever anything happens all we do is
just give fishermen money," Singh added.
The Yucatan Times also reported that on July 6,
an oil spot was found in the area of Playacar. Before
that, another one was located near the coast of Tulum.
"The so-called equatorial stream of the south that
runs along the Atlantic Ocean, from east to west and
from south to north, directs the waters from the South
American coasts towards the Mexican Caribbean," the
It also quoted the chemical engineer Carlos Álvarez
Flores, president of Mexico Communication and En-
vironment who had said such petroleum residues had
reached the Mexican Caribbean by marine currents.
Álvarez Flores had considered it was unlikely that
those residues had any relation with boats or ma-
discovery of oil residue
Port workers demand arrears
Less than one week after estate
police officers employed by the
Port Authority of T&T (PATT) be-
gan lobbying Government for their
outstanding arrears, port workers
yesterday staged a midday protest
also calling for the settlement of
Complaining bitterly about Govern-
ment's failure to pay them, the various
categories of labourers operating at the
Port of Port-of-Spain warned that it
could lead to escalated industrial action.
The group of protesting workers,
gathered outside the PATT's Adminis-
trative Complex, Dock Road, included
stevedores, cleaners, longshoremen and
A stevedore is the person employed on
the dock to load and unload ships while
longshoremen are the people who un-
load and manage the cargo that moves
by ocean freight.
Crane operators unload containers
aboard ships for those who drive the
trucks that move containers within the
confines of the port.
The workers said they have continued
to operate on salaries dating back to 2011
and can no longer survive, given the high
cost of living and rising inflation.
Arguing that many other workers had
received outstanding arrears, the workers
said they too deserved to be paid but con-
tinued to be given the run-around by the
PATT whenever the matter was raised.
Represented by the Seamen and Wa-
terfront Workers Trade Union (SWW-
TU), the workers said if the PATT failed
to respond to their call, action could be
heightened within the coming weeks. At-
tempts to reach PATT Chairman Alison
Lewis proved futile.
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