An Oil Spill from Trinidad and Tobago Impacts the Los Roques Archipelago Again

A new oil spill originating in Trinidad and Tobago has reached the Venezuelan coasts and islands impacting the Los Roques National Park, according to reports from volunteers, tourism promoters and NGOs involved in the monitoring and cleaning of hydrocarbons.

And although similar reports have also arrived from Bonaire, although this time it would not have reached the beaches of Nueva Esparta and its arrival at the beaches of Sucre is monitored. In April 2017, a spill of 300 barrels impacted Margarita Island, the Paria Peninsula and the Los Roques Archipelago.

The Oil Spill Contingency Team of PetroTrin, the state oil company of Trinidad and Tobago, tried to contain the 30-barrel spill by physical methods, while divers tried to repair the leak in early May. According to the Trinidadian version of The Guardian, this is the second spill of the year.

Officially 10 barrels of oil were spilled, but an association of fishermen demands economic compensation as well as guarantees of environmental protection. “We are already dealing with piracy and crime on the high seas, we do not have fish in our waters and, if we go to Venezuela, they arrest us,” said Essok Ali, president of the Fishermen’s Association of Icaco, adding that they have rescued hundreds instead. of Venezuelans through the years.

A flyby made by the National Institute of Aquatic Spaces (Inea) corroborated on Saturday the 26th the presence of iridescent and dark spots in the surroundings of the Gulf of Paria, Itsmo The Bishops, Island of Ducks, The Soldier Stone, Pedernales, Nabarima, Irapa and the coasts of Güiria before the suspicion of the arrival of the spill in the mouth of the Dragon, a strait that separates Trinidad and Tobago from the eastern end of the Paria Peninsula, for which a plan of vigilance was agreed by the volunteers, according to the NGO National Organization of Rescue and Maritime Safety of the Aquatic Spaces (Onsa).

Likewise, a joint tour of the Inea, the Bolivarian National Guard and Pdvsa, together with Civil Protection (PC) of the Valdéz municipality of Sucre state during the mornings of Sunday 27 and Monday 28, did not find hydrocarbon to the Sucrean beaches, although they maintain the monitoring Similarly, the NGO Center for Research and Conservation of Sea Turtles (Cictmar) has reported that it has not found a hydrocarbon in Querepare, a turtle nesting area, but it does not have Cipara and other beaches with the same biological characteristics.

Where there are important vestiges is the Los Roques Archipelago. On Sunday, May 27, tourism promoters and the NGO Conbive reported that they had found hydrocarbons in the form of shells, with sizes of one to ten centimetres, in the breaking zones and sandy beaches throughout the coastal zone of Francisqui Island, in the national park. Also, material impossible to collect was reported due to its viscosity, which would have already melted and mixed in the corals when melted by the action of the sun.

Among the findings are an Alcatraz feather (Pelicanus occidentalis) and some mangrove pneumophores and algae with spots. An official inspection is carried out by Alfredo Pérez, general director of Environmental Quality of the Ministry of Ecosocialism and the executive director of Environment of Pdvsa, Francisco Guerra, according to information provided by the governor Stella Lugo to tourist promoters of Los Roques.

For his part, Jesus Montilla, representative of the Association of Tourism Promoters of Los Roques, told EfectoCocuyo that they keep documenting what happened so that the experience of the previous year will not be repeated.

“We met with the local authorities of the Miranda Insular Territory, Commander Avendaño because more than economic rewards for the loss of tourists that PDVSA requested, what interests us is to conserve the environment because we live on tourism. So we asked that the boys who were dedicated to clean up the oil, high school graduates who did without supplies, were given scholarships to study biology, to leave something for the future here. The claim we want to make to PetroTrin is a biological follow-up of the long-term damages, which was pending last year. ”

Montilla revealed that he still has a report to present to the Environmental Prosecutor’s Office what happened in 2017, which will be linked to what was collected this year.

Also in Bonaire, it has been reported about the cleanup work of the staff of the Stinapa national park before the arrival of hydrocarbon from Trinidad, as it also happened in April 2017.

Derrame petrolero de Trinidad y Tobago impacta de nuevo al Archipiélago de Los Roques

In April 2017 a spill of 300 barrels of oil reached the beaches of the Paria Peninsula, the Isla de Margarita and Los Roques. The information was denied by PDVSA, despite press reports in Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and Trinidad.

He then reported that remediation work was done in Güiria and Los Roques, as well as in other turtle-nesting turtle coasts. A report on what happened as well as ecological studies were announced, as well as a diplomatic claim to Trinidad and Tobago, but none of that was delivered or at least, known the efforts that would be made.

The first news of the spill was spread by the death of some Venezuelans who transported medicines from that country to Sucre and that, originally, it was believed that they were doctors. The official version called them smugglers, but an independent journalist investigation revealed their history: they bought food to supply relatives and local merchants due to the shortage since 2011.

NGOs Fisherman and Friend of the Sea and Papa Bois of Trinidad and Tobago denounced then that PetroTrin did not maintain or early warnings necessary to avoid damage to the marine ecosystem of both countries.

Now Papa Bois wonders if Trinidad and Tobago is complying with the Cartagena Convention, which has been in force since 1986 and of which Venezuela is also a signatory, on protocols for collaboration in oil spills. The doubt is also shared by the environmentalist Rafael Gianni, who recalls the omissions of 2017 regarding the environmental impact on the Venezuelan coasts.

 

 

Source: Efecto Cocuyo