After almost a month three crude oil spills continue to pollute the Golfete de Coro in western Venezuela

La pesca artesanal es una de las principales actividades económicas en el estado Falcón / Foto Referencial

 

 

 

The three oil spills that were reported by fishermen in the area during the second week of January and visible in satellite images published by professor and biologist Eduardo Klein, remain active and have been contaminating the Golfete de Coro Little Gulf of Coro), in Falcón State, for almost a month.

By Irene Revilla // Correspondent lapatilla.com

Lapatilla.com learned from fishermen in Punta Cardón, in the Carirubana Municipality, that the studies by specialists that PDVSA promised in mid-January to quantify the damage caused in the ‘Golfete de Coro’ and the Paraguaná Peninsula after four years of constant oil spills and gas leaks, have not yet started.

“We are still waiting for them to come and keep their word,” said a local fisherman who preferred to remain anonymous.

The Golfete de Coro is crossed by at least seven pipelines that transport inputs from ‘Bajo Grande’ (Zulia) to the Paraguaná Refining Complex (CRP).

These are underwater pipelines that were built 60 and 70 years ago and have already reached their useful life, since no matter how much they repair them, they crack in other sections, causing incalculable environmental damage.

Fishermen from Paraguaná told lapatilla.com that PDVSA is aware of the active spills. Quite a while ago there was a meeting where they announced the environmental study with specialists, at that time there were only two active spills.

“They were already notified and, as is customary, they carried out the inspection and it was expected that the work would begin in the next few days to put clamps in the sections where the pipe had cracked again. Those pipes are no longer useful no matter how much they are repaired, they always break somewhere else. I’ve lost count of the number of clamps they’ve put in. These ‘fixes’ last weeks and even though they manage to cover the leak, the spilled oil is not collected and that has caused us to be left practically without fish. There is no fish left. For example, right now we are in mullet season and there is nothing, the fish don’t want anything to do with the noise and what those pipes do is keep away what little there is,” he said.

La pesca artesanal es una de las principales actividades económicas en el estado Falcón / Foto Referencial

 

 

 

The Golfete de Coro is an environmental reservoir where there are mangroves that are important hatcheries and receive migratory birds from other parts of the world which pass through the area to feed, rest and reproduce.

Pollution threatens these important areas, which are also a natural breeding ground for shrimp and mollusks.

Although the fishermen’s fight for the cleanup of the Golfete, compensation, and protection of these natural areas has been ongoing for the last four years, everything has remained as unfulfilled promises.

Many have lost their nets and had their boats covered in oil, while some, as is the case of the inhabitants of Tiguadare, have migrated to another profession because there are no longer any species to fish.

The NGO ‘Clima 21’, in its report on oil spills in Venezuela in the second half of 2023, which was published in January of this year, stated that oil spills in the country are not a problem of numbers, but of omission by the State that does not accept and live up to its environmental responsibility and the protection of the human rights of the inhabitants.

In the last six months of the past year 35 hydrocarbon spills were recorded. This added to the 44 cases counted in the previous semester results in a total of 79 events that occurred only during 2023. A number very similar to the events 81 documented in 2022.