Photo: Oil spill off the coast of the Great Bear Rainforest

By Jodi Stark

An oil spill was reported yesterday off the coast of the Great Bear Rainforest. There are 700 tonnes of heavy oil in a sunken U.S. Army ship under the site of the oil slick. While the current extent and severity of this oil spill is not yet known, there is potential for a significant spill.

What we do know is that 40% of the local diet comes from the sea, and that traditional shellfish harvesting areas are under threat.

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Back in 2006, the federal government made assurances that the wreckage would get cleaned up, but they have done nothing since. Nearby, The Queen of the North (a BC ferry that sunk in 2006) also contains over 200,000 litres of fuel. Future leakages from either ship could severely impact local seafood, marine life and water quality.

These are just two reasons why we need better management of our oceans. This incident highlights the importance of taking a good comprehensive look at what we're doing in the ocean-and how we're doing it — to ensure that all measures are in place to ensure that coastal communities, businesses and ecosystem remain healthy.

Instead, the federal government pulled out of marine planning process that would do just that. They're also closing the BC emergency oil spill response office relocating it to Quebec. We think that they need to reconsider these positions. If you think the same, join us and 10,000 other Canadians in telling the Prime Minister that good oceans planning is a priority.

Tell the Prime Minister to protect the Pacific Ocean.

For more information about the Great Bear Rainforest oil spill, Read the Gitga'at press release.

May 4, 2012

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May 05, 2012
4:23 PM

Our oceans are a world inside our own world..we aren't doing well on land..but i hope we can save their world!

May 05, 2012
5:30 PM

This is disappointingly unsurprising. Wait until it is an immediate problem before doing anything rather than prevent it from being a problem in the fort place!

May 06, 2012
10:13 PM

Is this not a matter of an active deliberate breach of trust by fiduciary trustees of the public trust ? dereliction of duty-of-care? misappropriation of public funds? perjury?

class-action trust-enforcement ?

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