Mexican fishermen clean beaches after oil spill
Mexico City Nov 11 (IANS) Fishermen on Mexico s southern Pacific coast were cleaning up beaches in the wake of an October 9 oil spill whose potential environmental impact remained unclear.
The spill was due to an "act of vandalism" against a pipeline at the maritime terminal in Salina Cruz Oaxaca state according to state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex).
Last month s spill followed one caused by the magnitude-8.2 earthquake that struck southern Mexico on September 7.
"We have never seen so much oil in the sea " Raul Gallegos president of the Costa del Marques Saltmakers Production Cooperative told Efe news on Friday.
The spill which Gallegos said was roughly 6 km long and 2 km wide posed a threat to the livelihoods of the fishermen of Salinas del Marques as well as the town s tourism sector.
Salt production may also be at risk if the seawater that is the cooperative s raw material remains contaminated.
To deal with the spill and make up for residents lost income Pemex and the municipal government created temporary jobs cleaning up the beaches.
Working from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. the cleaners use shovels to gather up globs of oil that are then placed in sacks.
At the moment Gallegos said most of the oil is at a layer 30 cm under the surface of the sand but the traditionally rougher seas of December will leave those patches exposed.