Famous Fishing Organisation (FFO), a fishing group in Oron, Akwa Ibom State, has described the recent Bonga oil spill as a nightmare and a setback to their occupation and marine environment.
Johnson Harry, Chairman of the group, lamented in Oron this weekend that while Shell operations are continuing, the spill has crippled fishing activities in Akwa Ibom.
He said that the polluted marine environment along the Atlantic coastline in Akwa Ibom has compelled members of FFO to suspend fishing since, but that they have received no form of compensation.
“The Spill from Bonga oil field has been a nightmare which has refused to go, the magnitude of the crude oil leakage compelled us to leave the waters before the regulators instructed fishermen in the Niger Delta Region to stop every fishing related activity,” he said.
He told SaharaReporters life has become difficult and unbearable without their ability to earn any income.
“We urge government to prevail on Shell to clean up Akwa Ibom coastline of the traces of crude oil as well as pay for the losses of fishermen who were deprived of their income due to the spill,” Mr. Harry said.
He dismissed the views being canvassed in some quarters that the spill did not travel towards Akwa Ibom as false and not supported by empirical facts.
According to him, water travels in all directions along the Atlantic coastline and the abundant evidence made the oil industry regulator to order fishermen to pull out of the sea.
“Such views are untenable and indeed unscientific because no one was controlling the oil and the satellite imagery by foreign environmental group already showed the extent of the oil coverage which travelled up to 200 kilometres,” he said.
Shell Nigeria Production and Exploration Company (SNEPCO), operator of the Bonga field located about 120 kilometres from the coastline reported that some 40,000 barrels of crude leaked into the Atlantic Ocean in the spill incident.
SNEPCO claims it has completed the clean-up of the spill. It restarted production at the Bonga platform in January.