Fish Farm Diesel Spill

Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by RBL, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. RBL

    RBL Member

  2. fogged in

    fogged in Well-Known Member

    One source says 1500 litres
    Cermac says closer to 600 litres
    which source is to be believed?
    upload_2017-3-6_9-53-51.png
     
  3. trophywife

    trophywife Well-Known Member

    bio diesel now eH cermac... bd2 or bd100?
     
  4. Clint r

    Clint r Well-Known Member

    Copied from castanets news service:

    The Canadian Press - Mar 7 6:41 am
    An oily rainbow-like sheen on the waters surrounding a diesel fuel spill off the north coast of Vancouver Island cannot be cleaned up, sparking fears among a nearby First Nation that relies on clam digging for food and economic security.

    The thin layer of fuel, which covered a 5.5 kilometre radius at one point outside the salmon farm where the spill originated, has been deemed unrecoverable because it cannot be captured by skimmer vessels or sorbent materials, British Columbia's Environment Ministry said.

    Fuel has made contact with some shorelines in the Burdwood Island group, a sensitive area teeming with clam beds that the Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis First Nation says are crucial to its economy.

    "Would you put that sheen on your vegetable garden?" asked Bob Chamberlin, the nation's elected chief councillor. "They have no technology whatsoever to recover that sheen. That is utterly unacceptable."

    A flyover on Monday showed that the sheen had been reduced in size to about 1.5 kilometres and represented about 70 litres of fuel, said Supt. Philip Murdock of the Canadian Coast Guard. He said authorities will now determine which beaches are affected and begin testing, including on shellfish.

    Most of the area used by the First Nation for clam digging is closed due to biotoxin concerns that existed prior to the spill, but Chamberlin said he is concerned about long-term effects.

    Cermaq Canada, which owns the farm in Echo Bay, about 70 kilometres from Port Hardy, said it "highly regrets" the incident.

    Brock Thomson, Cermaq's regional production manager, said staff contacted the coast guard just after 5 a.m. Sunday once the spill was discovered. Employees deployed equipment on site and when it was light out they gathered as much gear as they could from other farms in the area, he said.

    Thomson said staff were transferring fuel from one tank to another and left the nozzle unattended, which led to the release of the diesel.

    "The long and short of it is the root cause of the release was human error," he said.

    The federal Fisheries Department has said the pump was left on overnight.

    Officials now estimate about 550 litres of fuel spilled, less than the 900 to 1,500 litres initially reported. Coast guard crews from Port Hardy were the first to respond and Cermaq has also contracted the Western Canada Marine Response Corp. to help with the cleanup.

    Courtney Bransfield, emergency co-ordinator for the Mount Waddington Regional District, said all recoverable diesel was contained to the fish pens by Sunday afternoon. She said the sheen in the surrounding waters was unrecoverable but would eventually evaporate.
     
  5. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

    The root cause was not the guy's doing the transfer it was the guys designing the system for the transfer. Think about the last time you put fuel into you vehicle. Did it allow you to overfill and pour fuel all over the ground? Of course not, the pump shuts down automatically when it senses it's full. This should be a lesson that every fish farm on this coast to learn.
     
    Dogbreath and papalorge like this.
  6. Birdsnest

    Birdsnest Well-Known Member

    I have never seen a fuel transfer done that was not strictly visually attended by someone. Absolute stupidity.
     
  7. Bear

    Bear Member

    There should have been a procedure to prevent this issue from happening. The person that allowed this to happen should be fired and their name and address published. Without consequences, these issues will continue to happen. Enough is enough.
     
  8. Birdsnest

    Birdsnest Well-Known Member

    There absolutely is fuel handling protocols for any industry handling fuel on the bc coast. I agree that IF this was a pump left running unattended there should be consequences for the individuals involved. I would disagree that fish farms keep having fuel spills of this nature in fact this is the only one that I am aware of.
     
    Dave likes this.
  9. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

    There are rules and regulations about fuel tanks and I have spent a few hours looking at them. I understand that space at a fish farm can constrain the amount of a containment that an overfill or spill might pose. Are these folks abiding by the rules? That I don't know but a preventable accident like this one should not happen even if the operator for whatever reason left his post. If there is no room to have a containment system then at a minimum there should be overfill protection.

    I'm one of those guy's that are hard on this industry but I have spent most of my career managing employees and I think that this is preventable accident is not the total fault of the employee that did the transfer. Yes he was not at his post but poor design of the system gave him no support and that should be changed. I'll leave it up to his company as to what the consequences are for his actions but I personally would not fire him as there is plenty of blame to go around.

    http://www.ec.gc.ca/lcpe-cepa/default.asp?lang=En&n=61B26EE8&printfullpage=true#ws3D31E94D
    http://www.bbfd.ca/doc/2014_bc_fuel_guidelines_6th_edition.pdf
    http://www.ec.gc.ca/rs-st/default.asp?lang=En&n=400DB49F-1
     
    SpringFever552 likes this.
  10. Birdsnest

    Birdsnest Well-Known Member


    GLG you have no idea what happened prior to this event in terms of the training or direction of that staff member or members. I find it telling that you would make the assumption that it is not the primary fault of the employee prior a full investigation. None of us really know any of this information. Can you explain how you can come to your conclusions before an an enquiry into how specifically this played out?
     
  11. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

  12. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

    I never said that it was not the primary fault of the employee but I'm not ready to throw him under the bus like some. All I'm saying is this is a preventable accident and we have the technology to prevent this type of thing. If fish farms want to be known as "World Class" then they need to pickup their game. Yes I am sure that an investigation will take place and some good will come out of this mess but I find it telling that some feel the root cause is the employee and to me that is not true it's deeper then that.
     
  13. Birdsnest

    Birdsnest Well-Known Member

    I have not stated it is the fault of the employee. I was not there and I have not seen a report. I have stated that you find it fitting to draw conclusions with little to no confirmed information.
     
  14. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

    This from the newspaper report.....

    Cermaq Canada, which owns the farm in Echo Bay, about 70 kilometres from Port Hardy, said it "highly regrets" the incident.

    Brock Thomson, Cermaq's regional production manager, said staff contacted the coast guard just after 5 a.m. Sunday once the spill was discovered. Employees deployed equipment on site and when it was light out they gathered as much gear as they could from other farms in the area, he said.

    Thomson said staff were transferring fuel from one tank to another and left the nozzle unattended, which led to the release of the diesel.

    "The long and short of it is the root cause of the release was human error," he said.


    It's Cermaq that threw their employee under the bus and I'm saying that's not the root cause. There is plenty of blame to go around with company and the federal government and to just blame the employee is nonsense.

    It's a effing mess but I don't want to see just one person singled out and hung out to dry when a preventable accident like this should not have happened in the first place. That's what world class means.
     
    bigdogeh likes this.
  15. Bear

    Bear Member

    There are specific procedures to be followed so incidents like this do not happen. The employee did not follow those procedures. These type of issues happen and there is no real consequence for the employee. Why should the employer take the fall for some employee that cannot or will not follow instructions? Why should the rest of us pick up the tab for their stupidity? There should be consequences for ones actions, both good and bad. Seems in today's society we reward good and ignore bad.
     
  16. Clint r

    Clint r Well-Known Member

    Yep. I'd like to see a reprimand for the employee and a fine for the company. Big enough to sting so that an actual lesson is learned and not a "cost of doing business" size.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
    bigdogeh likes this.
  17. bones

    bones Well-Known Member

    Sounds pretty reasonable Clint r
     
    Clint r likes this.
  18. Clint r

    Clint r Well-Known Member

    Thanks Bones. Nobody needs to lose their job over what could be an honest mistake. But one thing I don't understand is how a pump can run with no one attending it? There should be no way to pump fuel without someone physically squeezing the pump handle.
     
  19. trophywife

    trophywife Well-Known Member

    routine is to attend while filling , turn off the electric pump then the ball valve at the tank when yer done... someone missed this routine.
     
  20. gone fishin

    gone fishin Member

    Who pays for the clean up and all the related costs.
    If the fish farm salmon are unmarketable, who covers that loss
     

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