English Bay waters reopen for fishing, crabbing following fuel spill

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City of Vancouver

The ban on recreational fishing for crab and ground fish in English Bay has been lifted following last month’s bunker fuel oil spill.

According to a release by Vancouver Coastal Health, the results of recent test samples indicate these species found in Vancouver’s local waters are safe to consume. The decision was made with in conjunction with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

In addition, English Bay is also cleared for commercial prawn and shrimp by trap fishery. However, the ban on the harvesting of clams, mussels and other bivalves in the area is still in effect.

A closure order was issued on April 16 as a precaution due to the possible effects of the fuel spill on crabs, angling of flounder, sole and other ground fish in the area.

The health advisory on swimming in the waters was lifted on April 18.

On April 8, about 3,000 litres of toxic bunker fuel oil was spilled from a newly-built cargo ship carrying grain in Burrard Inlet. A recovery and shoreline clean-up effort was launched in the days following the spill, with officials claiming that much of the substance evaporated or dissipated by wave action. It is not known how much of the substance submerged in the water.

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