gather for a meeting to discuss the destruction of the manatee
in the western coasts.
Although they are fast vanishing in the Caribbean, manatees,
or sea cows, continue to live in the warm waters of the
western coasts between the Point Lisas industrial estate
and the Petrotrin jetty.
But with the impending destruction of 75 acres of mangrove
to facilitate the extension of the Point Lisas port, fishermen
of Claxton Bay believe the manatees will soon be extinct.
During a meeting yesterday, fishermen called on the Government
to save the mangrove and instead relocate the proposed port
to the Waterloo area.
do not want a port here, but if they have to build one,
take it more on the Waterloo side, fisherman Bhadase
He said the coast on the western side of Pranz Gardens is
shallower and so would cost less for the construction of
is why they targeting here. They want to destroy the mangrove,
but by doing this, they are killing the spawning ground
for the fish and they are killing an abundance of wildlife
including our sea cow, Sooknanan said.
He called on citizens to rally together to save the mangroves.
people in Trinidad have never seen a sea cow in their life,
but we have. There are still a few that graze in the shallow
water, but if they destroy the mangroves, we will never
see the sea cow again, Sooknanan said.
He said the mangrove was also the home for T&Ts
national bird, the Scarlet Ibis.
Sooknanan said recently, the ibises were seen on excavated
land on the Caroni plains. He said because of the rapid
industrialisation on the western coasts, a lot of wildlife
have been destroyed.
Physicist and environmental activist Dr Peter Vine was thrown
off a barge on Thursday when he joined Claxton Bay residents
in protest against building the port. The French-based company
Saipen was conducting a survey and soil-testing operations.
The port is to be built to facilitate a steel mill by a
President of the Claxton Bay Fishing Association Kishore
Boodhram said citizens seem oblivious to the threat that
75 acres of mangrove will be cleared away from the western
isnt this bothering people? What is going to happen
to your country when oil and gas run out? We will need to
have a fishing industry to survive, but at this rate, we
will have to eat dust and steel, Boodhram said.
Another fisherman Azad Mohammed said sea urchins live in
the mangrove. He said the mangrove has a shallow breeding
is where the fishes come to lay and hatch. If this part
of the mangrove is destroyed, we will never have a fishing
industry here again, Mohammed said.
He said in the past, fishermen could have fished anywhere
along the western coats, but now, industries have prohibited
fishing on certain part of the coats.
are narrowing our fishing zone, when they clear the mangrove,
where will we go? Mohammed questioned.