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1,000 litres of biodiesel spill at B.C. fish farm; cleanup underway

Fuel spill at salmon aquaculture site off Vancouver Island prompts food supply, environmental concerns



PORT HARDY, B.C.—Coast guard officials say crews are working to clean up a fuel spill at a fish farm off Vancouver Island’s north coast.

The federal fisheries department says the coast guard received a report early March 5 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 says an estimated 900 to 1,000 litres of bio diesel overflowed into the water when a fuel pump was left on overnight. Cermaq Canada, which owns the site, says 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.

Bob Chamberlin, 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 supply. The area is critical for clam digging, which is a major food source to the community.

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

The clean-up is on-going.

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