Nfld. & Labrador

Coast guard pinpointing oil spill near Fogo Island

There have been hundreds of reports about oiled sea birds in the Fogo Island area since the end of March, and the Canadian Coast Guard is taking those reports seriously.

Investigators have narrowed down area, extent of spillage

Since the end of March, the Canadian Coast Guard has been inspecting land and sea areas around Fogo Island, in an effort to pinpoint the source of the fuel. (Google Maps)

The Canadian Coast Guard is taking recent reports of oil spillage near Fogo Island seriously.

There have been hundreds of reports about oiled sea birds since the end of March. Since then, the coast guard has been inspecting the land and sea from the air and on the ground, in an effort to pinpoint the source of the fuel.

Spokesperson Bob Grant said so far, investigators have been able to narrow down the area and the extent of the spill.

"From the surveillance planes, we have seen a light sheen in the Blow Hard Rock area," said Grant.

"They really started to show up around April 19, and they've been there on our surveillance flights since ... very light sheens that dissipate rather quickly. And surveillance of the general area ... this is the only area we're seeing them."

Grant said that samples have been taken, and are now being analyzed at a laboratory in Moncton.

Sonar and an underwater vehicle will also be used to inspect what's on the ocean floor.

Grant added that he is aware of suspicions that a sunken paper carrier might be to blame, but refused to speculate until lab results come back.

In the meantime, crews have been using special equipment to try and keep birds away from the area.