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posted 12 Nov 2013, 19:38 by Gerry Kangalee





The National Workers Union (NWU) strongly condemns the arrests of Wayne Henry, Gary Aboud and Cathal Healy-Singh while participating in the protest organised by the United Fisher Folk on the Port of Spain waterfront on Tuesday 12th November 2013. 
The National Workers Union stands in solidarity with the struggle of the fisher folk to subject the seismic surveys (bombings) carried out by the oil and gas companies to environmental impact assessments (EIAs) under the aegis of the Environmental Management Authority (EMA). 

They believe unregulated seismic bombings are causing havoc to the fishing industry in the Gulf of Paria and affecting their ability to pursue their livelihood. 
The National Workers Union fully supports the demands of the fisher folk that: the EMA should adopt best practices for conducting seismic bombing. 
That the EMA require an EIA study prior to granting any Certificate of Environmental Clearance for
conducting seismic bombings. 
 That an immediate moratorium on future seismic bombings be established until and unless oil and gas companies agree to carry out EIA’s consistent with existing best practice; 

That Certificates of Environmental Clearance be issued with terms and conditions which include no seismic explosions in spawning or nursery areas, spawning times and on the migratory paths of fish;

That long-term studies be conducted by the EMA and the Institute of Marine Affairs to gather data on existing fish stock to guide terms and conditions of future Certificates of Environmental Clearance for all seismic bombings. 

The National Workers Union thinks it is highly absurd that heavily armed and armoured police should be dispatched to terrorise and intimidate fisher folk exercising their freedom to assemble; to express their views and to combine to pursue objectives they perceive as advancing, protecting and defending their interests. 

It is ironic that while fisher folk pursuing their constitutional rights were being shown what police can do, a big crime symposium was talking place a stone’s throw away at the Hyatt where American policeman Bill Bratton was being feted. 

The National Workers Union calls for the dropping of all charges against Henry, Healy-Singh and Aboud. The NWU, further, calls for the immediate adoption of best practice regulatory mechanisms, including the requiring of an EIA by the EMA, when oil and gas companies apply for certificates of environmental clearances for their seismic bombing activity. 
- END -


Gerry Kangalee (National Education and Research Officer – Cell: 785-7637)
Gerry Kangalee,
12 Nov 2013, 19:39