Nfld. & Labrador

Oily birds surfacing again near Change Islands

Oily seabirds have again been spotted near Change Islands in Notre Dame Bay, in the same area where the Manolis L sank in 1985.
The Manolis L ran aground and sank near Change Islands in Notre Dame Bay in 1985. (Courtesy Maritime History Archive, Memorial University)

Oily birds are surfacing again near Change Islands in Notre Dame Bay.

The waterfowl have been caught recently in the area where paper carrier the Manolis L sank in 1985.

Local hunter Gene Richards said three of the four ducks that he shot on Monday had oil on them, adding that he also saw an oily slick on the water over the weekend.

Richards said the sunken carrier is a disaster waiting to happen.

"The right thing to do is get something on the go and get that oil out of that boat, because this is only peanuts compared to what it's going to be down the road, eventually, when her tanks collapse," he said.

"And that's a big recipe for disaster in this area for sure."
Oil is still spilling from the sunken paper carrier, The Manolis L near Change Islands. James Gidge took this photo on Wednesday, while duck hunting. (Courtesy James Gidge)

Meanwhile, a DFO spokesperson said the Coast Guard received a report from two seabird hunters in the Fogo Island area last weekend, who reported taking four lightly-oiled Eider ducks.

Arrangements have been made to collect samples for testing at the Environment Canada lab in Moncton, which will test to determine the source of the oil.

On Oct. 17, an underwater survey was conducted of the ship's hull. The inspection found all the neoprene seals were holding, and the coffer dam was working properly.

The Coast Guard will continue to monitor and manage the Manolis L site. Further aerial surveillance flights are planned, weather permitting. 


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