19 | AGO | 2019
Activists denounce death of sea species
Dozens of species are in danger for Grupo México's spill of sulfuric acid - Photo: José Martínez/EL UNIVERSAL

Activists denounce death of sea species

12/07/2019
20:12
Amalia Escobar / Corresponsal
Mexico City
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After the spill of 3 thousand liters of sulfuric acid in the Sea of Cortés by Grupo México, dozens of species have been found dead and many others are in danger

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The spill of sulfuric acid by Grupo Mexico in the Sea of Cortés, known as the Aquarium of the World, caused the death of an indefinite number of fish and scallops in the sea area of the Guaymas Integral Port Administration (Apiguay).

A dozen dead species floating in the affected area can be seen in photographic evidence.

On Tuesday, a spill of 3 thousand liters of sulfuric acid took place in the area where ships are loaded. The leak by the sea could be seen with a column of white smoke, according to workers of the Apiguay.

By night, the journalist from Sonora, Mexico Ricardo López said that he was alerted that workers of the port were collecting dead fish.

That is why, on Wednesday at 10 a.m. he made a trip by sea and recorded evidence of dead fish in front of staff of Mexico Federal Environmental Protection Agency (Profepa).

The journalist said that Elsa Coria, head of the Center of Rescue, Rehabilitation and Research of Wild Fauna, collected a sampling of the sea waters in different areas. She would even do it, she said, up to the tourist beach of San Carlos, because there was low tide and it was possible that the toxic substance had gone offshore.

In that path is the Estero del Soldado, a Protected Natural Area (ANP) since 2006. This reserve is a refuge for species like coyotes, white-tailed deer, boars, and desert foxes.

It is a wetland of 322 hectares that has three out of four of the kinds of mangroves in the country (red, black and white.) In addition, it is home to 425 species of animals and plants.

There is also the “Delfinario”, a center of therapies with dolphins and a tourist attraction where visitors can interact with these animals.
 

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Damage and more damage. In a tour made by EL UNIVERSAL through the Sea of Cortés, in the area of Apiguay, no dead fish were found, only opened oysters.

In the area of the spill to the sea, there was a whitish color different from the rest of the fence and the environment was very polluted.

Parked there is the Birdie Trader vessel with a load of 19 thousand tons of sulfuric acid, with destination to Mejillones, Chile.

In this respect, congressman Carlos Navarrete Aguirre, president of the Mining Commission and secretary of the Environment Commission in the Congress of Sonora, said that that vessel must be retained and confiscated from Grupo México until they are held accountable of the environmental damages caused to the marine ecosystem.

For her part, Governor Claudia Pavlovich noted that “it is unfortunate that this happened. It actually caught us all by surprise and I hope that Federal authorities do what must be done, juridically and according to the law.”

The Profepa issued a press release in which it affirmed that a procedure against Grupo México has already started, and has given them a period of five days, as established by law, so that they make the declarations within the procedure of inspection already started.

In the meanwhile, fishermen of Port Guaymas and of the municipality of Empalme declared uncertainty about the negative effects of this spill. Employees of Apiguay reported that the worker that took the video and shared it in an internal chat of the port and was later viralized en social media was dismissed.
 

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