PORT OF SPAIN – State-owned Petrotrin confirmed on Tuesday that 300 barrels of fuel oil have entered the Gulf of Paria.
And as oil slicked birds and fish begin to wash ashore, Petrotrin stated that a Wildlife Rehabilitation Plan has been implemented.
Pelicans and fish have been rescued by environmentalists near the mouth of the Guaracara River, Marabella.
However, birds have also been affected at Kings Wharf, San Fernando, where the spill has been taken by the currents.
Petrotrin stated that activities to contain and recover the oil spilled from its Pointe-a-Pierre operations on Sunday were ongoing.
Ministry of Energy, the Environment Management Authority (EMA) and other regulatory bodies continue to spearhead recovery efforts and aerial surveys and monitoring were continued, a Petrotrin release stated.
“Cognisant of our responsibility to ensure the clean-up is completed in a timely manner and with minimal impact to the environment, our clean-up crews are working around the clock and a Wildlife Rehabilitation Plan has been mobilized and implemented,” the company stated.
Petrotrin stated that any impacted animal identified will be re-habilitated in established centres in Trinidad.
An oil fuel storage tank at Petrotrin’s bond facility ruptured on Sunday.
Petrotrin stated that the spill has been largely contained within the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.
However, environmentalists are saying that the spill has done damage at the mouth of the Guaracara River, and that birds have been coated with oil.
Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) stated on Monday that a large body of floating oil was spotted in the waters of the Gulf of Paria.
FFOS corporate secretary Gary Aboud called on Petrotrin to reveal what measures were being used to contain the damage of the oil spill.
Aboud questioned whether Petrotrin plans to use oil dispersant, Corexit in the clean-up operations, which are contrary to the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP).
And President of the Claxton Bay Fishing Association Limited Kishore Boodram said fishermen are now bracing for another drop in fish prices.
Boodram said that the extent of the oil spill is not yet known to the fishermen as there has been no communication with State owned Company, Petrotrin.
He criticised Petrotrin for not reaching out to the fishermen and informing them as a safety measure.