The Liberal MP for central Newfoundland says the federal government needs to come up with a long-term plan to deal with the oil leaking from a sunken vessel near Change Islands.

Scott Simms said he fears an environmental disaster if something isn't quickly done about the Manolis L, a ship that sank in Notre Dame Bay nearly 30 years ago.

The Canadian Coast Guard has tried to contain the oil leaking from the sunken paper carrier, but Simms said the short-term solutions just aren't enough.

"What I fear is what everyone else fears, which is that this ship is going to open up and we have a bigger disaster on our hands that requires an incredible amount of resource just to do a short-term containment," he said.

"My understanding is there are ways, there are mechanisms, where they can take that oil out of the water."

Simms said the damage that could be caused by the oil may be devastating.

"I'm just frustrated because I don't hear any vision or any long-term plan so that we can save the ecosystem of Notre Dame Bay," Simms said.

According to Simms, he's repeatedly asked government how it plans to get the oil out of the sunken ship to ensure the safety of the area, but that he has yet to be provided with a proper answer.