Jonathan De La Rosa and Steven Valdez, members of the Trinidad and Tobago Game Fishing Association (TTGFA) informed for the situation in Gulf of Paria and called for action, yesterday.
Steven Valdez, who was disappointed from the lack of action of the government agencies declared:
“Someone in authority needs to take ownership of this matter (and) remove those 12 derelict vessels before they leak any more oil and diesel into the Gulf of Paria.”
Ships are anchored at around 500 meters off the Carenage coast, visible to citizens of high-rise condominium development, all the 12 ships left to rust unlit in water are causing serious danger to boaters unware of their presence or exact position.
Moreover to potential accidents at night with the lost vessels, Mr. Jonathan De La Rosa expressed concerns about very suspicious activity on and around all 12 derelict ships.
“We’ve seen people who have absolutely nothing to do with the boats, but they’re there (at) various times of the day and night. You just know that something’s going on there that’s not right. Whether it’s storing drugs, guns, anything, there’s nobody out there to see what goes and what comes from those boats.” De La Rosa also noted that at night, “many times boaters have passed by and seen (pirogues) pulling in, pulling out, taking people onboard and off board.
Does anybody know what’s going on?
All the 12 derelict vessels were anchored and abandoned by TT Yacht Club for the past 2 years, claim people involved in the local shipping industry in the region.
The derelict vessels affect everything - environment, crime, tourism, as trivial as it may seem to people.
All 12 abandon ships' owner is identified as either Trinidad Vina Limited or Austin Vina Limited. The shipping company purchased the ship from the Tidewater Marine company, based in New Orleans after they had reached the end of their life span and may no longer be used in the oil industry of Brasil.
Local shipping agency members informed that derelict ships were planned to be scrapped and sold to China, but it seems the the expense for the local shipping company to get the relevant clearances, renting cranes and welding equipment prooved to be too much to scrap the ships.
Currently, 2 of the ships, anchored in 6.5 meters depth are partially submerged and another 2 ships are visible listing to one side. Moreover, oily spots could by simply seen around the propellers of one of the sunken ship that is lying on its starboard side.
According to unconfirmed information from a fisherman, the local company Trinidad Vina sold the vessel to another shipping company, but that has yet to be verified.