LUANDA (Reuters) - About 500 fishermen in Angola’s Cabinda province are demanding compensation from Chevron Corp, saying it was behind an oil spill that prevented them from catching fish for nearly two weeks, an industry body said on Tuesday.
Environmental authorities in the southern African country found traces of oil more than two weeks ago on the shores of the beach in the northern Cabinda province but has not given the size of the spillage or who it believes is responsible.
Industry lobby group Caconga Voice of Fishermen Association accused Chevron of causing the leak and said each of the nearly 500 fishermen was demanding $2,000 from the U.S. company for each of 11 to 12 days they were unable able to catch fish.
Chevron said in a statement it was not responsible for the leak but cleaned it up to “demonstrate our commitment to protecting people and the environment”.
Environmental Minister Maria de Fatima Jardim said: “The company responsible for this incident has already cleaned up the waters and will pay the government a fine and should compensate the fishermen.” She gave no further details.
Total SA and BP also operate in Angola.
There have been no major oil spills reported in Angola in recent years although fishermen in the nation’s oil-rich province of Cabinda are sometimes quoted in the local media as saying oil pollution levels are rising in the region.
Reporting by Herculano Coroado; editing by Susan Thomas