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GULF OF THAILAND OIL SPILL: Fishermen refuse to accept low compensation
Publication Date : 09-08-2013
Fishernen in Rayong are getting ready to fight against the 1,000 baht (US$31.93) daily compensation proposed to make up for the loss of income caused by the recent oil leak.
Their livelihoods were affected when some 50,000 litres of crude oil leaked from a PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) offshore pipeline on July 27. There are about 800 small trawlers in Rayong.
"We believe the compensation should be calculated based on our real average daily income," Rayong Small Fishing Trawler Association president |Jaturas Iamworanirun said at a meeting yesterday, which was attended by about 1,000 fishermen.
At the meeting, the participants were given a form, reportedly prepared by Chulalongkorn University, in which they were asked to specify the amount of squid, shrimp, fish and clams they could catch every day on average. "These forms will provide the information," Jaturas said.
Earlier, the Rayong provincial government asked those affected to come forward and claim compensation. However, Jaturas said, the authorities seemed to be prepared to pay just 1,000 baht in daily compensation for a period of 30 days.
"We can't accept that," Jaturas said.
He said that once the real average income was calculated, his association would submit the information to Rayong Governor Wichit Chatphaisit, PTTGC and the National Human Rights Commission to push for fair compensation.
Separately, Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Tarit Pengdith said yesterday that it was clear the leakage could not be blamed on natural causes. "We are going to determine the exact cause. It's possible that somebody's recklessness led to the leak," he said.
He said DSI investigators would also need to rely on information gathered by the PTT fact-finding committee. PTTGC is a unit of PTT.
Although the DSI has not yet taken this up as a special case, it has asked 14 relevant agencies to provide information. These agencies include PTTGC, the Pollution Control Department and the Marine Department.