Scientists confirm oil from English Bay spill reached several Vancouver beaches


VANCOUVER – Scientists have conclusively linked oil that washed up along numerous Vancouver beaches with the grain container ship that leaked bunker fuel in English Bay in April.

Testing by researchers from the Vancouver Aquarium also shows that the fuel may have harmed aquatic organisms and wildlife in the water and along the shores.

Peter Ross of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Research Program says his team did a detailed forensic analysis looking at the unique markers that created a so-called fingerprint for the oil from the ship, then matched that to samples taken from beaches around Vancouver.

Ross says the results prove the oil reached several shores in Vancouver including New Brighton Beach about 12 kilometres away from the spill down the Burrard Inlet.

Samples taken from Second Beach in Stanley Park and English Bay Beach also showed higher hydrocarbon levels than guidelines recommend, indicating that animals and sea life may have been harmed by the spill.

A malfunction on the MV Marathassa caused the ship to spill about 2,700 litres of bunker fuel into English Bay on April 8.