Bunker samples taken to track guilty party in Trinidad

Local authorities have taken bunker samples of all ships in the Port of Spain harbour on Trinidad’s northwest coast to try and track down the culprit behind a huge oil spill on Tuesday.

The local Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) is now going through the samples to find out the guilty party. The government vowed yesterday that the company behind the spill would be held responsible for all clean-up costs.

Nevertheless, the government has faced flack for its perceived weak regulatory environment for ships calling at the Caribbean nation.

“Because our laws are poorly regulated and enforced it is much cheaper to dump waste oil rather than to treat and dispose of it properly. Regularly there are deliberate discharges of oil into our marine waters, (often at our ports) and even though the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) is called upon to investigate these disasters, the culprits are never held accountable,” local environmental NGO Fishermen and Friends of the Sea stated in a release yesterday.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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