Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us


Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.


Submit news and opinion for publication


Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.


Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin

News from the Caribbean:

Back To Today's News

Letter: La Brea community sentenced to death
Published on July 6, 2017 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

For the past 42 months since the eleven 2013 Petrotrin oil spills, major and ongoing fish kills have been occurring daily on the beaches of La Brea. Since December 2013, Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) have recorded this event in the history of Trinidad and Tobago. FFOS have been visiting Point Sable Beach in La Brea, almost every Saturday, at the falling tide, since the beginning of this year.

Put plainly, this is an urgent environmental and public health risk. Government officials as well as the resident fishing association are turning a blind eye on this La Brea community who are at greatest exposure and risk, as they regularly catch and consume large quantities of their own freshly caught fish, which have been found in UTT’s laboratory tests to contain "significant levels" of the cancer causing triggers known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In the end, the government officials and the fishing association are not being mindful of who will suffer the most.

When fishing associations compromise themselves by accepting largesse from polluters and environmental degraders, they abandon their independence and undermine the foundation of community empowerment while jeopardizing the entire fisheries movement in Trinidad and Tobago and the region. Dangerous precedents have been established in La Brea. These precedents weaken all fishing and community organizations in every corner of our world.

Along the almost four-mile long Point Sable La Brea beach for this rainy season, FFOS have found fish along the length of the beach at frequencies averaging as much as one meter apart, upwards of 5,000 dead and dying marine species in a single high tide mark. A total of 22 species of fish have been counted in varying quantities including, blinch, blowfish, bouche, brunch, catfish, cavali, crapaud, cro cro, cutlass fish, fowl fish, gar fish, grunt, herring, joshua, moonshine, mullet, plato, power, red fish, rokando, salmon, sapate, tauret, tedral and chip chip, stingrays, crabs, shrimps, pelicans, corbeaux, and bottlenose dolphins. Except for corbeaux and pelican, everything is consumed by humans and other predators.

Again and again, FFOS appeal to the environmental institutions, the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) and Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) and the ministry of planning or development to form a collaboration with the local stakeholders, to address this serious public health disaster effectively. Testing samples acquired from outside the Petrotrin Red Zone, oil spill heavily impacted area (Mosquito Creek to Point Fortin) does not address the critical danger of eating shrimp and fish from the La Brea Lagoon.

Months ago, the government announced that they will establish a regular monitoring programme for this area, but when will it be started? Will they be testing the levels of PAH content in the Aripero Lagoon and swamp, and in the flesh of sick and dying fish and shrimp of this area to determine if they are safe for human consumption? Based on the high consumption of fish and shrimp of the nearby fish consuming community, FFOS are most concerned for the regular localized consumers.

Unless our government treats this health disaster with a matter of extreme urgency, they will continue to endorse the endangerment of public life and public health. This is no matter to play politics with and those that do should be held accountable.

Gary Aboud
Corporate Secretary
Fishermen and Friends of the Sea
Reads: 2904

Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.


As a result of our comments feature being overtaken in recent weeks by spammers using fake email addresses, producing a large number of bounced verification emails each day, we have reluctantly decided to suspend the comments section until further notice.

User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Other Headlines:

Regional Sports: