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Repsol spill: “Authorities must determine the impact on the fish,” says an expert

It’s been more than a week since the La Pampilla Refinery, run by the oil company Repsol, produced a spill of at least 11,000 barrels of crude oil off the coast of Lima, which was allegedly caused by strong waves attributed to the eruption of the submarine volcano in Tonga. Until Friday, the contamination reached up to 180 hectares of beach strip and 713 of sea in Lima and its bordering regions.

Fishermen’s unions and trade associations estimate that 3,000 people have lost their jobs. Similarly, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Roberto Sánchez, has projected losses of up to 52 million dollars in the tourism sector, given that some five million people usually spend their vacations each year between January and March in the 21 beaches affected so far.

Brenda Silupu, professor of the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences of the University of Piura, says that, although the implications in the short, medium and long term are not yet clear, there is distrust of consumers to acquire maritime products, since it has Their preferences for this type of product have decreased tremendously, since it is not known how much this contamination has impacted them.

On the other hand, he points out that the country continues to go through a two-year pandemic and political stability problems, which has caused the reactivation of mypes to take place at a slow pace. The oil spill has affected the fishermen who live from daily work and who, based on what they sell, obtain income to support themselves.

Repsol: affected micro-enterprises

Silupú maintains that there should be some type of compensation or bonus for those who depend on the catch of the day (in the affected areas), while this problem is solved, or the consequences on hydrobiological resources are analyzed.

In addition, there is an impact on micro-enterprises that have food businesses because now there is no guarantee that a good maritime product can be eaten. For this reason, he notes, “the authorities must determine the consequences or at what level the biomass or the fish can be affected.”

This same situation has repercussions on the hotel businesses that are on the beaches, because as the sea is polluted they will not be able to receive clients, interested, above all, in spas and meals based on fish and shellfish.

Also, it should be evaluated if the contamination can spread beyond Lima, so that the population is aware of what the ecological damage has been, especially so that they preserve their health, says Silupú Garcés.

How to help micro entrepreneurs?

The private company must grant incentives or bonuses to those who have been directly affected; that is, to artisanal fishermen, hotels, people who sell fast food or who have restaurants, indicates the microfinance specialist.

To do this, the professor from the University of Piura affirms that a registration must be done while waiting for the compensation to be completed, while the area is disinfected.

Another way to help the fishermen is by contracting them to participate in cleaning up the area, given that they are still unable to carry out their normal duties, in exchange for a bonus or salary, regardless of the compensation or indemnity that they might receive later.

“The necessary measures must be sought so that everyone can contribute to cleaning up more quickly,” he said.

Source: Larepublica


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