Fishermen in Trinidad are seeing their livelihoods ruined by repeated oil spills in their waters. Ecologists too are worried because marine life is suffering badly.
A film on board a small boat by an ecologist documents an oil spill last week in the Gulf of Paria, off the coast of Trinidad. It is just the latest of many spills that are wreaking havoc on the area’s vulnerable marine life and fishing industry.
Gary Aboud, who heads a local environmental watchdog, shows the extent of the spill, which he said stretches for miles, and criticised what he believes is a half-hearted clean-up attempt by oil company, Paria Fuel Trading Company Limited.
Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) went out to document the spill and filmed a vessel at full throttle apparently attempting to break up the oil layer. It called for the company to use booms to contain the oil and collect it. “What we saw (the spill) was not as outrageous as what they were doing,” said Aboud.
The region’s oil industry has come under increasing fire as the Gulf of Paria has been plagued by spills in recent years. There have been 498 reported oil spills on land and at sea since 2018.