Report from environmental group warns of damages to salmon from oil tankers

Raincoast Conservation Foundation released a report on December 17 warning of concerns to salmon populations from oil transport.

The Raincoast Conservation Foundations has released a report warning of the consequences to salmon in the face of the proposed Northern Gateway Pipelines project.

The report, which was released December 17, concludes that the risk from marine terminal and tanker traffic would be detrimental to salmon growth.

The leader author, and Raicoast Conservation fisheries ecologist Misty MacDuffee said in the organization’s media release that a lot of the studies on the affects to salmon came from the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

“These risks are not just from a large oil spill, they are from the industrial activities that accompany oil tankers and degrade essential salmon habitat,” she continued.

The report says that only 10 to 15 per cent of oil from a marine spill is typically recovered and that spill response in rough weather is not possible.

Meanwhile, pre-planning, skill, resources, coordination and “the attitude of the response agency” are essentially for spill recovery, the report continues.

Further in the report, it claims that Canadian agencies on the Pacific coast “are not prepared for a major oil spill.”

In addition, they say that coordination of response between the federal and provincial levels of government are “not well harmonized.”

“More than 5,000 spawning populations of wild salmon come from the watersheds that surround the tanker routes between Kitimat estuary and Haida Gwaii,” report co-author Andy Rosenberger noted.

The full report can be viewed online here.

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