Goan beaches turn black; tourists and locals asked to stay away from coastline

By Anupama Vimal

Tourists and the local people in Arambol and nearby beaches are a worried lot with suspected oil spill turning the Goan beaches black and affecting the entire coastline. Tourists and fishermen have been asked to stay away from the coastal area.

It was on March 27 that the tourists in Arambol witnessed black formation in the coasts. Some of the beaches have also been reportedly evacuated off tourists and other people.

Though confirmation is yet to come from the authorities regarding the suspected oil spill, it has been said that the oil found in the sea and on the shore could be caused either by a spill from tanker that passed by or from the washing of the oil tankers near Panjiam.

Picture by Shazia Shaikh

“The entire coastline is covered in black. It has not only affected the aesthetics of the beautiful beach but also has a significant effect on the marine life,” said Mumbai-based photographer Shazia Shaikh.

Adrianna Berezowska, a tourist from Germany, told Kadapuram.com that it was a typical case of impulsive behaviour where you choose the simplest way out of a situation without thinking of the consequences. “There is no sense of responsibility here,” she said.

Picture by Shazia Shaikh

Businessman Aaron Gomes said, “I just think it is about time that the government takes the responsibility for this and holds the perpetrators accountable for this. It is crazy how no one cares about nature but still wants to come to Goa and enjoy its benefits and beauty.”

In a Facebook post, one person has stated that he saw 3 dead sea turtles along with garbage washed up on Fatrade beach in South Goa. The coast smells like an oil tank , was one of the posts in Facebook.
In another post, one has said that this was an issue that the political parties should be addressing. Another FB post says “it has also been said that a couple of boats or barges cleaned their oil tanks and dumped the oil. Such a sad state of our pristine beaches.”

Picture by Shazia Shaikh

Meanwhile, National Fishworkers Forum Vice Chairperson Olencio Simose said that it is not the first time that such a scenario has happened in the Goan beaches. It is said that first such oil spill like scenario was spotted in Anjuna in 2011 and after that, there were such spills all the years.

He said that the present oil spill has not only affected the tourism sector but also the fishermen. “The fish catch is going to decrease because of the situation,” he said.
Moreover, he said that most of the fishermen do not venture into the sea because of the oil spreading in the sea.

Picture by Shazia Shaikh

He also said that they would approach the port authorities as well as the government for finding a solution to the present situation. “We have been demanding the government and the authorities every year when a situation like this arises for finding a permanent solution. But till now, nothing has happened,” he said.

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