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

Canadian Press

Just Posted

Kelowna Cabs’ dispatchers will be coming back to work now that their union and the taxi company have come to an agreement. (Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs dispatchers set to go back to work

The taxi company and the dispatchers’ union have reached an agreement

t
Motorcyclist critically injured in Westside Road collision

Motorcyclist collides with vehicle, struck by another: preliminary police findings

People at the beach in front of Discovery Bay Resort on Tuesday, July 14. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Heat wave forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures are forecast to hit record breaking highs this week

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Kelowna mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead

Pair discovered in their Vancouver Island home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

Central Programs and Services on Richter Street.
COVID-19 exposure at Central Programs and Services

Interior Health annouces a COVID-19 exposure within Central Okanagan Schools

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A 1969 Barracuda convertible like this one is being refurbished by Rust Valley Restorers and raffled off to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity Kamloops, which includes the Salmon Arm/Shuswap area. (Image contributed)
Rust Valley Restorers’ work will lead drive for attainable housing in Salmon Arm

Habitat for Humanity Kamloops’ Classic Car raffle features ‘69 Barracuda convertible

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Osoyoos chef Murray McDonald was ecstatic upon realizing he scored the $1 million guaranteed prize in the June 2, 2021 Lotto 6/49 draw. (Contributed)
Osoyoos chef ecstatic after bagging $1 million Lotto 6/49 win

B.C. lottery players have redeemed more than $44 million in winnings from Lotto 6/49 this year

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
UPDATE: Two churches on band land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

Most Read