NL Gazette

Newfoundland oil spill a primary matter for wildlife, states seabird biologist

Nfld and Labrador

Key takeaways: 

  • No indication of additional water pollution, states, coast guard.
  • This oiled thick-billed murre was fired by a hunter around Burgeo on Sunday, according to marine bird biologist Bill Montevecchi.

Wildlife in danger as oil spilled in the ocean: 

A marine bird specialist states wildlife is at stake after a cargo ship spilled approximately 30,000 liters of an oil-water mix into the Atlantic Ocean off Newfoundland’s south coast on Thursday.

Bill Montevecchia teacher of psychology, biology, and ocean sciences at Memorial University, advised CBC News that the spill is a terrible thing to witness and could impact a group of bird species that live in the province.

“The birds most weak to oil are the murres.” Source –

“Some of those murres are big-billed murres — they come from the Arctic — standard murres that produce here in Newfoundland, [and] there’s eiders ducks all along the coast,” Montevecchi stated. Source –

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Life of seabirds at stake due to the oil spilled in the ocean

“There are simply lots of them around there now, and we’re well conscious of that. They’re the ones that are at stake.” Source –

Montevecchi took to social media to request the public’s support, especially hunters and lighthouse caretakers, in noting any sightings of oiled birds over the following few days. 

On Thursday, the Canadian Coast Guard said that the MV Alaskaborg — possessed by Dutch firm Royal Wagenborg — accidentally released approximately 30,000 liters of an oil-water mix over 12 hours and 175 marine miles after the ship’s fuel tank was punctured during severe sea circumstances. The 30,000 liters of fuel were revealed into the ship’s bilge, and the oil-water blend was then pumped overboard.

At the time, the MV Alaskaborg was instructed to block in its place, approximately 100 nautical miles south of Cape Race. The vessel is now berthed in St. John’s.

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