Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 28th 2014 Contents CAMILLE CLARKE
Environmental activist Gary Aboud yesterday
warned people to stop eating fish, since he now believes
most of the fish population is being contaminated in
the wake of last year s Petrotrin oil spill.
Aboud, secretary of Fishermen and Friends of the
Sea (FFOS), made the claim as he and other group
members visited the office of the Environmental Man-
agement Authority, St Clair, to complain that dead fish
have been found floating in the Gulf of Paria.
He said the FFOS was concerned about the application
of Corexit 9500, a dispersant used by Petrotrin after
the December oil spill at La Brea, which could have
possibly caused the recent fish kill there.
The fishermen were trying to deliver a letter to EMA
chairman Allan Bachan about their concerns.
They also wanted the EMA to take a quantity of dead
fish and a dead pelican they brought with them for
testing. The group had two coolers filled with mullet,
catfish and other smaller fish.
As the members of the FFOS reached the gates of
the EMA, however, they were turned away by police.
Their samples were also not taken by the EMA.
Aboud took the dead fish out of the coolers, threw
them on the pavement and spread out the wings of
the dead pelican to show members of the media what
he believed were symptoms which had led to their
In an interview outside the EMA office, Aboud said:
"Thousands of fish are washing up on shore and every
night, under the cover of darkness, they are sending
tractors and burying the evidence."
He accused the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) of
refusing to disclose the results of previous tests on fish.
Aboud added: "We have studied the impact of Corexit
on the fish and it burst the blood vessels on the fish.
This is a typical Corexit standard death.
"The entire food chain is being affected and this is
He said there was a massive cover-up by Government
and various agencies and a committee that was appointed
had not been keeping up to standards.
"Some compensation has to be paid to our people
and people should be warned not to swim in the water
and not to eat fish until the IMA (Institute of Marine
Affairs) can give an all-clear. The School Feeding Pro-
gramme uses these fishes and people can die," he added.
He said the dead fish had been found around Otaheite,
Cedros and La Brea.
"The current goes to Venezuelan waters, where bigger
fish would consume the dead fish and this could lead
to major health problems," he said.
Rahin Paragsingh, a member of the Brickfield Bay
Fishing Association, said he was concerned about the
lack of fish in the water.
"We are only getting 15 to 20 pounds of fish after
working nine hours a day. Two years ago we used to
get up to 300 pounds of fish a day. Now is nothing.
We only wasting time and nobody is going to compensate
us for that," he said.
"It has to do with the seismic survey... I have bills
to pay," he added.
In January, the fishermen had also tried to stop seismic
surveys from taking place. These entail setting off under-
water explosions and measuring the sound waves they
cause to gauge where to explore for oil and gas.
The EMA fined Petrotrin some $20 million over its
role in and response to multiple oil spills in La Brea and
environs last November.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, March 28, 2014
A group of women and children
who were among 24 Trinidadian Mus-
lims detained in Venezuela were
released to immigration officials in
The group was released to the immi-
gration officials even as members of
the Venezuela intelligence agency held
lengthy talks with a delegation from
Port-of-Spain headed by Rear Admiral
Kelshall s team left here yesterday
on a fact-finding mission after the local
Muslims were detained in Caracas one
week ago on suspicion of being ter-
They were reportedly held after they
were found to be in possession of arms
and ammunition at a hotel there.
The adults remained in custody yes-
terday after appearing at the anti-ter-
rorism tribunal court on Tuesday.
Immigration now holds 24 Trinis in Venezuela
Two Toco Secondary
School students have
been suspended follow-
ing yet another fight
which went viral on
social media websites
The girls were sus-
pended yesterday while
several other students
who were in the class at
the time of the brawl,
were given other forms
of punishment, includ-
ing writing essays on
apparently only became
aware of the incident
after the video went
The fight saw one
student jumping on top
of a desk to attack the
other before the two
threw punches at each
other, fall to the ground
and continuously roll
around while hitting and
pulling each other s hair.
The other students in
the class cheered them
on during the fight with
one male student even
urging them to throw
punches at each other.
It was reported that
the two Form Four stu-
dents had been feuding
for months over a boy.
Parents of the stu-
dents involved in the
fracas were called to the
school for a meeting
yesterday and informed
of the incident and the
punishments for those
were reportedly upset
that the police was not
also called to be part of
the meeting so that the
students would under-
stand the seriousness of
The Ministry of Edu-
cation is also reportedly
probing the incident.
This was the second
major incident in which
students at a school
were involved in a fight
which was not only
taped with a cellphone
but posted on social
The first one occurred
at Mucurapo West Sec-
ondary earlier this
month. Some ten girls
were suspended in that
incident while the vic-
tim of their attack is
seeking a transfer.
Aboud's FFOS march on EMA and says:
Fish in Gulf contaminated
Members of the Fishermen and Friends of the Sea
(FFOS), from left, vice -president of Claxton Bay
Fishing Association Bhadose Sooknanan, president
of the Alcan Bay/Chaguaramas Fishermen
Association, Francis Gomez, president of Fishermen
and Friends of the Sea (FFOS), Gary Aboud, and
president of the Cocorite Fishing Facility, Diane
Christian-Simmons, show dead fish and a pelican
during yesterday's protest outside the EMA's offices,
Elizabeth Street, St Clair, Port-of-Spain.
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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