Whale Expert Provides First Hand Account of Queen of the North Oil Spill Response
I wanted to give you an update on what we know is going on around Gil Island regarding the oil spill. We had a chance to get out on the water on Sunday, the day the underwater cameras were deployed.
We travelled north in Whale Channel to the side close to the shoreline. We were not able to find any spilled diesel along that shore. Having said that, it is very difficult to make out any spill from a boat, compared to a bird eye view a plane or helicopter would provide. We later scanned the beaches around Farrant and Fin Island helping out the people of Hartley Bay to find any debris, especially life jackets, left from the Queen of the North.
There were at least four boats from Hartley Bay working the beaches. It sure looks like that they are left to do the major part of the clean up. The north side of Fin Island seems to be affected quite heavily from the diesel. A seal haulout along that shoreline is covered in diesel, no seals on the rock which is very unusual. High winds prevented the boats to travel the west side of Fin Island. An unconfirmed report states that the diesel has reached the Estevan Island group.
As of this morning it sounds like that Burrard Clean is going to stop recovering the spill soon as there is not much diesel coming to the surface. At that point the people of Hartley Bay and this ecosystem will slowly vanish off the public eye.
We are expecting the first pods of Killer whales soon in this area. We will do our best to monitor their movements through the area and their possible contact with the spilled oil.