Grieg Seafood recognized for support of oil spill cleanup in Nootka Sound
On Tuesday, August 27, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation and the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy presented Grieg Seafood with a plaque and certificate of appreciation to recognize Grieg's support in containing the Bligh Island shipwreck spill in Nootka Sound that wrapped up this month.
In early December 2020, a concerning oil slick was spotted from the decades-old MV Schiedyk shipwreck near Bligh Island. The 150-metre ship sank in 1968 while carrying wood pulp and barley after it hit an underwater ledge. The crew survived but the ship sank with oil on board.
Grieg Seafood was asked to immediately help establish a 10,000-long oil boom as the Canadian Coast Guard and Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) arrived in Nootka Sound to further contain the spill and assess how to safely extract the oil from the sunken ship.
“It was a no brainer to get involved,” said Mike Crivea, Operations Manager for Grieg Seafood BC. “The surrounding environment, ecosystem and communities around Nootka Sound mean a lot to us at Grieg, and if we can be a part of containing the spill, we will.”
Over the next seven months, Grieg’s Operations, Seawater and Environmental Monitoring teams worked closely with the Bligh Island Unified Command, spill response crews and other contractors to offer support in the form of equipment, gear, advice and environmental knowledge of the waters in Nootka Sound.
In late June, the sunken ship's four bulk fuel tanks were successfully pumped and flushed out, eliminating the risk of approximately 60 tonnes of heavy fuel oil and marine diesel from reaching the marine environment.
"Boaters in the area may continue to see a small amount of non-recoverable fuel on the water in the area," states the Canadian Coast Guard's Bligh Island Unified Command. "This is due to tidal currents disturbing areas of the ship containing very small amounts of product, such as the engine room. This product will dissipate."
Response crews are currently demobilizing and shoreline cleanup teams are surveying the shoreline, and monitoring of the area will be ongoing when possible.
For more information on the Bligh Island shipwreck spill, visit: https://www.spillresponsebc.ca/