Mexican fishermen clean beaches after oil spill of uncertain impact

Fishermen of the Mexican municipality Salinas del Marqués face these days the cleanliness of their beaches, after a oil spill that is affecting their activity economic and which are still unaware of the environmental damage that may result.

Mexico, Nov 10 (EFE) .- Fishermen from the Mexican municipality of Salinas del Marqués are currently facing the clean-up of their beaches, after a crude oil spill occurred. affecting their economic activity and which are still unaware of the environmental damage that may result.

The incident occurred on October 9, when there was a "vandalism" in the pipeline of the Maritime Terminal of Salina Cruz, in the southern state of Oaxaca, according to the state-owned company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

The spill, which was controlled daily next, it is added to another occurred on September 7, the day when an earthquake of magnitude 8.2 shook the center and south of the country, although this had much less impact.

"We had never I've seen so much oil in the sea, "says Raúl Gallegos, president of the Cooperativa de Producción Salineros de la Costa del Marqués.

La mancha, which according to Gallegos came to reach approximately six kilometers in length and two in width, has harmed the task of those who are engaged in catching products such as shrimp, oyster, lobster or octopus.

Tourism has also hit, because the oil has reached one of the beaches, and the fisherman believes that the activity of the salt workers could be at risk, if the water, the raw material for crystallization, remain contaminated in the future.

After the disaster, Pemex and the municipality of Salinas del Marqués granted temporary jobs to the inhabitants of the municipality to help with the cleaning of the beaches.

The workers enter at seven in the morning and remain in the place until four in the afternoon. surface of the sand, picking up with a shovel pollution stains, which end up in nylon bags.

Gallegos says that, at this time, the sand covers part of the oil, "that's why go on the surface almost as if it were clean, but below, at 30 centimeters is the stain. "

Notice that in the month of December, when" hit the brave of the sea ", these hidden spots They will end up uncovered.

The fisherman recognizes that they do not know "how far the spill could impact or harm the ecosystem", or the consequences it will have for them in the future.

Therefore, from the guild are asking experts from institutions such as the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) or the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) go to the beaches and assess the damage.

It is worth mentioning that the fishermen's associations in the area were already established before Pemex established its activities there. Before the latter occurred, defends Gallegos, there was "more production of shrimp, fish."

The representative of the cooperative recalls that the company has a "Responsibility": "You should have security measures", so that incidents like this do not happen, he says.

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