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EMA back on the La Brea beach

By Richardson Dhalai Tuesday, March 18 2014

Days after scores of dead fish washed ashore along the La Brea coast line, the Environmental Management Authority, (EMA), yesterday dispatched inspectors to the beach front to investigate the possible causes of the fish kill.

The La Brea coast, which included the Coffee, Carrat Shed and Point Sable beaches, were the site of a massive oil spill and subsequent clean-up operations which occurred on December 18 last. Over the weekend, residents of Coffee beach reported seeing dead fish including mullet, catfish, and bechine together with other marine animals being washed ashore.

Contacted yesterday, an EMA communications officer said their officers had been dispatched to the beach to conduct investigations though they was unable to say what type of investigations would be performed, or when the results would be known.

Meanwhile, in a telephone interview, La Brea MP, Fitzgerald Jeffery said he had been informed about the fish kill on Saturday morning and warned residents against using fish caught off the La Brea coastline and also bathing in the beaches.

“I got wind that there was a lot of fish on the beach between the Coffee beach and Carrat Shed bay and to me, this was very consistent with the after effects of the use of Corexit 9500 in the La Brea coastal zone,” he said, adding, “I have been very consistent with that call in that it is very unhealthy to consume fish from that La Brea coastline zone as well as for people to go and bathe on the beach in that area because of the use of Corexit 9500, and the oil because once that mixes together, the toxicity level is extremely dangerous.”

He observed the situation was similar to the oil spill which occurred in Alaska in 1989 in which Corexit 9500 was used saying “24 years later, what we have heard from the research is that nobody who was involved in the clean up has lived past the age of 50 and this is very worrying to me and to the people in the La Brea coastal area.”

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