Caribbean oil spill crisis: Environmental impact widens from Trinidad and Tobago

Caribbean oil spill crisis: Environmental impact widens from Trinidad and Tobago
Workers of Oil Mop Environmental Services (OMES) suction oil from a spill at Magdalena Grand Resort, in Tobago Island, Trinidad and Tobago, credit: Reuters / Clement George Williams

The Caribbean’s marine and coastal ecosystems face a critical threat due to an oil spill from a capsized vessel near Trinidad and Tobago.

The oil spill has now extended its reach to Grenada’s territorial waters and poses a potential risk to Venezuela’s coastline as well.

The incident, which was detected by Trinidad and Tobago’s Coast Guard, has seen the oil spill move accross the Caribbean Sea for the past ten days.

Efforts to trace the vessel’s origins, ownership, and intended route have involved multiple Caribbean nations. Early findings suggest that the ship had set sail from Panama, heading towards Guyana.

Tobago’s officials have said that the ship is believed to have carried as much as 35,000 barrels of fuel oil. The spill has blackened the island’s beaches. Guyana has expressed willingness to assist in managing the environmental damage.

First responders and volunteers on the beaches of Tobago have been trying to contain the spill and reduce its impact on the island’s wildlife.

Marine animals and birds have been affected. Authorities continue rescue and cleaning efforts to clean the animals and return them to their habitat.

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