Clean-up underway after 1,000 litres of bio diesel spills at B.C. fish farm

Clean-up underway after fuel spill at B.C. fish farm

PORT HARDY, B.C. — The leader of a First Nation off the north coast of Vancouver Island says he’s worried about the impact a fuel spill at a nearby fish farm will have on his community’s food source. 

Bob Chamberlin, elected chief councillor Kwikwasat’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation, said the area is critical for clam digging, which is a major food source to the community.

“When you look at it, I think, ‘Good golly.’ It’s going to have an impact on our traditional food source. And it’s going to have a significant impact on the environment,” he said.

The federal fisheries department said the coast guard received a report early Sunday morning about a spill from a fuel tank at an Atlantic salmon aquaculture site in Echo Bay, about 70 kilometres east of Port Hardy.

The statement said an estimated 900 to 1,000 litres of bio diesel overflowed into the water when a fuel pump was left on overnight.

The company that owns the site, Cermaq Canada, issued a statement that said its records show that up to 1,500 litres was spilled.

Staff at the fish farm put out absorbent pads to soak up the fuel, and most of the spill is contained in the fish pens, but Cermaq said the fish are showing “normal behaviour.”

However Chamberlin said video footage taken from a helicopter above the spill Sunday shows fuel has leaked well beyond the confines of the farm.

The community has long been opposed to fish farms in the area because they were concerned about how they would affect the environment and now their fears have been realized, he said.

“To have, either through a lack of training or a lack of diligence on the farm, to have an accident such as this on the farm, it’s utterly unacceptable. And there needs to be a very high level of accountability here.”

The coast guard, officials from the ministry of environment, and a marine clean-up company are responding to the spill, and clean-up is on-going.

Chamberlin said there will be a need for the First Nation and other groups to monitor how far the spill reached and evaluate how it affects the area.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Okanagan FC suffer draw despite massive offensive output

Okanagan FC out-shot the opponent 29-6 in a 0-0 draw

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: rain expected

Showers are expected to end by tomorrow

Three vehicle ‘sandwich’ crash delays traffic in Rutland

An accident at the McCurdy and Mayfair Road intersection was reported just before 4:30 p.m.

A BBQ thank you at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission

The ninth annual Well Done BBQ brought Kelowna together

Two West Kelowna residents were arrested for alleged drug trafficking

RCMP executed a search warrant at a Chieftain Road home

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

Victoria double murder trial: Blood splatter analyst found no shoe prints on scene

RCMP analyst testifies to smears, fingermarks, ‘swipe and wipe’ patterns around apartment

Shuswap author tells First Nations family’s story of resilience, leadership

Chase resident will hold book signing in Salmon Arm June 22, in Kelowna June 23 and Vernon June 29.

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

South Okanagan mountain resort sees lengthy snowfall

Snow stayed on the ground for four, says resort manager

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Channel your inner pirate in epic Canada-wide treasure hunt

200 treasure chests hidden among trails and waterways, lots of prizes to be claimed

Most Read