b.c. first nation leader concerned by impact of oil spill at nearby fish farm - absorbent food pad
PORT HARDY, B. C. —
The leader of the first nation off the north coast of Vancouver Island said he was concerned that a fuel leak at a nearby fish farm would have an impact on the food source of his community.
Bob Chamberlin, the elected chief MP, said the area is critical for clam mining, which is the main source of food for the community.
"When you look at it, I think, 'Gosh.
This will have an impact on our traditional food sources.
This will have a significant impact on the environment, "he said.
The federal Fisheries Department said the Coast Guard received a report early Sunday that said fuel tanks at the Echo Bay salmon breeding site had leaked, about 70 kilometers east of Port Hadi.
When the fuel pump was placed overnight, an estimated 900 to 1,000 litres of biodiesel spilled into water, the statement said.
Cermaq, a Canadian company that owns the site, issued a statement saying it recorded as many as 1,500 liters of leaks.
The fish farm staff took out the absorption pad to absorb the fuel, and most of the spills were included in the fish enclosure, but Cermaq said the fish showed "normal behavior ".
However, Chamberlin said video taken from a helicopter on Sunday showed fuel had leaked outside the farm.
He said the community has long opposed fish farms in the region because they are worried about how they will affect the environment and now their fears have been realized.
"By lack of training or lack of diligence on the farm, it is completely unacceptable to have such an accident on the farm.
There needs to be a very high level of accountability here.
"Coast Guard, Ministry of Environment officials and a marine cleanup company are responding to the oil spill and the cleanup is in progress.
Chamberlin said the first country and other groups needed to monitor the extent to which the leak arrived and assess the impact of the leak on the area.