Effect of oil spills in Burrard Inlet and Fraser Estuary on animals

Submitted by: City of Vancouver, Living Oceans Society, Tsleil-Waututh Nation

The evidence:

  • A major oil spill could kill marine mammals, and cause large-scale mortality of seabirds and shorebirds (>100,000 bird deaths), greatly reducing predation on their food sources, causing cascading effects throughout the food web.
  • Such a spill could permanently alter the ecosystem.
  • Spilled oil could move through the food web, including in salmon and shellfish populations, causing fear of contaminated seafood and substantial economic losses for subsistence and commercial harvesters.