Oil absorbent pads collecting the industrial waste off the harbour in Prince Rupert.

Fisherman reports oil slick from the port expansion

An oil slick has been reported along the Fairview Container Terminal dock at the site of the expansion.

An oil slick has been reported along the Fairview Container Terminal dock at the site of the expansion.

Commercial fisherman Joe Lewis has noticed the oil sheen in the harbour before but he couldn’t identify where it was coming from until Thursday, when the weather was calm and he was able to trace the source of the pollutant.


Contributed: Joe Lewis

“I followed it over to the end of the dock and it’s just a straight slick coming off the FRPD barge (FRPD-BEL Gateway Joint Venture is responsible for the construction of the Fairview Terminal expansion) and floating right in toward Fairview II,” Lewis said.



Contributed: Joe Lewis

“You can see small herring and salmonoids feeding amongst it. I’ve seen them floating around dead and twitching and I was wondering what was wrong with them. I’ve seen that on numerous occasions.”


Fish spotted underneath the oil slick in the Prince Rupert harbour. Contributed: Joe Lewis

On April 14, at 10 a.m. Lewis was on the commercial fishing boat he works on when he spotted “a huge oil slick all over the water.” As he followed the slick he took photos with his phone. He also saw oil absorbency mats at the corners of the dock.


Contributed: Joe Lewis

In response to reports of the oil slick, Michael Gurney, the Port of Prince Rupert’s manager of corporate communications, said they take a serious approach to the appearance or suspicion of any contaminants in Prince Rupert harbour.

“We work with the Canadian Coast Guard to identify vessels that pump out contaminated bilge water, which can cause hydrocarbon sheens on the water,” Gurney said in an email.

He stressed that anyone who may notice a waterborne pollutant should notify the Canadian Coast Guard who will investigate and mitigate such incidents.

“With respect to the recent observations brought to our attention by the Northern View, we have followed up with port partners working in the area to confirm the situation and ensure that any issues are being reported appropriately,” Gurney said.

To report a spill, the Canadian Coast Guard line in Prince Rupert is 250-627-3074 (or toll-free 1-800-889-8852).


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Breast cancer screening available in Prince Rupert – ten days only

Mobile imaging suite will be in Prince Rupert from July 6 to 16

RCSCC 7 – Captain Cook is searching for new C.O.

Officer position will be vacant with CIC sailing away to different shores.

Police investigate July 2 homicide in Houston

Man succumbed to injuries at Pearson Road residence

Solidarity movement displayed in city

Prince Rupert locals demonstrated against

Canada Day investigation by RCMP

Female was transported to hospital with head injuries in Prince Rupert

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read