The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) says that its Emergency Response and Investigations Unit (ERI), in an immediate response to a report on June 11th from the La Brea Fisherfolk regarding the presence of dead fishes at Pt. Sable, visited the area in conjunction with the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) to conduct investigations.
A statement by the EMA said that in its capacity as overall coordinator of environmental management in Trinidad and Tobago, it also asked the Disaster Management Unit of the Ministry of Local Government (MLA) to provide an assessment.
The EMA/IMA investigations have revealed that the excessive quantity of fish - comprising herring, catfish, and mullet - was as the result of a ‘bait dump’ either from a trawler or gill net fishing vessel.
‘Bait dump’ refers to indiscriminate disposal of an unwanted catch by fishermen.
The Environmental Management Act mandates the EMA to function as an overall coordinating authority of environmental activities by both private and public sector entities.
The capability to investigate environmental complaints is vested in the EMA and specific government agencies.
The EMA says it works closely with these agencies that have the technical capacity to provide accurate updates to the national community.
The EMA says it has embarked on an intensified outreach to relevant stakeholders to improve communication within the environmental network, and so add greater value to citizens.
It says this process is ongoing and reflects the commitment of the EMA in fulfilling its mandate as stewards of the environment.