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Marine Environment Protection, Safety and Control

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Studies
Wordcount: 2026 words Published: 18th May 2020

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This report discusses the oil spill response strategy for the tanker SS Arrow which was travelling to Port Hawkesbury from Aruba. The tanker was entering Chedabucto Bay carrying 10 million litres of Bunker-C (Riordan, 2007).



Bunker C is persistent oil which evaporates only 5-10 % at the first few hours of the spill and because of this the oil can be spread by means of currents and wind and forms scattered tar balls. These are varied in diameter makes it difficult to detect by remote sensing techniques. The specific gravity of the oil is between 0.95 and 1.03 which can cause the oil to suspend in the water column, sink or float.Minor variations in the water density would affect this. The formation of emulsion usually happens slowly and after a period of days due to its high viscosity (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce, 2019).


S S Arrow was a twenty two year old steam powered oil container ship built by Bethlehem Steel Company. It has a length of 529 feet, breadth 63 feet and depth 38 feet. It has 27 tanks inside it for carrying petroleum products which can carry 16000 tonnes of oil. (Beson, 2001)



The people of this area mainly depended upon fishing industry. So the potential effects of an oil spill would break the backbone of the society. So it would be the major concern of Canadian government. The main commercial activities are fishing, fish packing, lobsters and herring. The lobsters and herring are the principle fish of harvesting. There is also importance for clamming but the local food supplement is in individuals hand rather than a business. Most of the people living on this area are earning from this industry directly as a fisher man or by working in fish processing plants in that area. Canadian Department Of Fisheries, an activity by federal government is most important in this area. (Richard w Crowley, 1970)

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A spillof bunker c can cause severe impact on the fishing industry.This would cause the stoppage of their main income such as fish lobster and scallops. These species could affected with the spill and can harm the livelyhood of people around.Lobsters, which are the main harvest could coated with bunker c and would become not consumpable. In adddition to that, birds come to contact with the spill would be completely covered with oil and can cause a large number of deaths.As most of the people relying on fishing industy, they will not have any income an can cause an increase in poverty. So the primary concern is to prevent the fishing industry from a disaster. (Beson, 2001)


Cape Breton Island and main peninsula are connected by Canso causeway at Port Hastings. It is constructed in 1955 which is the main transportation link. During winter, this causeway protects the strait and bay area from ice. As a result, it created a harbour with a great industrial potential. This harbour is 14 miles in length and ha s a depth of 120 feet. The vast area is large enough to handle any kind of ship to turn by its own. Lately, these areas become famous for its petroleum industry due to its capacity to include any type of oil tankers. In the near future Chedabucto bay would become a main industrial attraction (Beson, 2001).

The spill could cause these industries to stop their functioning. If the spill gets into the harbour, the harbour would be closed and the trade would be stopped for several months. This would also cause a big loss for the related sectors, so protection of harbour is also important. (Richard w Crowley, 1970)


Chedabucto Bay has blessed with a number of shore lines with different kinds of geography. Cans, Guysborough, Port Hawkesbury, Arichat, Petit de Grat, St. Peters Bay are some of the main shorelines which lies around the Chedabucto Bay (Manuscript report series no.19, 1971). The spill can cause contamination to these shore lines and can cause a permanent damage to them. The sand on the beach would be mixed with Bunker c and would stay around there. As the bunker c is a heavy oil, the removal or clean up would not be that easy and cannot done with limited period of time. So it is very important that a proper attention should be given to seashores in order to prevent future loss. (Beson, 2001)


The main concern will be about the native people around the areas. The area is populated and most of them are depended on the sea for their living, so the safety of them comes first. The in situ burning cannot be used since it is bunker c and also the area is populated so it can harm the surroundings. Since dispersants are banned in Canada, those can’t be used to help cleaning process.

The area contains large verity of flora and fauna like the lobsters and snow crabs those are to be taken care of , so the dispersants and in situ burning cannot be applicable. The environment is rich with people , animals, birds, plants and other organisms so they are so vulnerable to get affected if the dispersants are used.


Ships that transport through the Canadian waters legally required to have shipboard oil pollution emergency plan and should have a contract with a certified response organization that would respond to a spill. There are four certified response agencies in Canada and the ones that are responsible for the cleanup of the spills that occur in Port Hawkesbury area are Eastern Canada Response Corporation Ltd and Point Tupper Marine Services Ltd. (PTMS) (Government of Canada, 2018).

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Containment and recovery are the two stages of controlling an oil spill (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1999). Containment booms can control the spread of oil and reduce the chances of oil reaching the shorelines. Also, these can be used to divert and channel the oil to specific locations (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1999). The oil skimmers and vacuum pumps are the most effective oil recovery equipment that can be used when the early stage of Bunker C spill and shoreline cleanup is an effective method before oil weathering (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce, 2019).

Eastern Canada Response Corporation has seven types of containment booms in Atlantic region. They are AMPOL 43” BOOM, Kepner Boom, Lamor Autoboom, RO – Boom 1500, Shore Seal Boom, Solid Flotation Boom and Zoom Boom (Eastern Canada Response Corporation , 2013). Also there are sixteen types of skimmers that are available with the corporation which are Axiom Belt Skimmer, Disc Skimmers, Elastec Skimmer, GT-260 GT-185 Skimmers, Lamor LRB 40, Libra Belt Skimmer, Lori Brush Skimmers, Minimax 12 Skimmer, Minimax 30 LAM12WD Skimmers, Minimax 60W Brush Skimmer, Miscellaneous Skimmers, Desmi-Helix 160, Oil Mop Skimmers, Pedco Skimmer, Suspended Rope Mop and Desmi Giant Octopus (Eastern Canada Response Corporation , 2013).

The corporation also has some other equipment for the shoreline treatment which are listed below. Decontamination unit- this is used for the cleaning of equipment like PPE and tools and personal in the time of spill response. Portable high-pressure washing unit- provide cold and warm water to clean man-made structures. Shoreline deck barge- this can be used as a working and storage platform during cleanup operations. Smart Ash Burner- to burn oil debris. Tents- to store food, equipment and use as a resting center.Bird scaring devices- use to move away birds from the contaminated area (Eastern Canada Response Corporation , 2013).



  • Beson. (2001). A view of Arrow spill and its effects on Chedabucto Bay area. Guysborough: A view of Arrow spill and its effects on Chedabucto Bay area.
  • Eastern Canada Response Corporation . (2013). Equipment. Retrieved from Eastern Canada Response Corporation : http://www.ecrc-simec.ca/en/equipment/
  • Government of Canada. (2018, march 8). Response Organizations. Retrieved from The official website of the Government of Canad: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/oep-ers-regime-ros-771.htm
  • Manuscript report series no.19. (1971). THE RESTORATION OF BEACHES CONTAMINATED BY OIL.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce. (2019, june 10). No. 6 Fuel oil (Bunker C) Spills. Retrieved from Office of Response and Restoration : https://response.restoration.noaa.gov/oil-and-chemical-spills/oil-spills/resources/no-6-fuel-oil-spills.html
  • Richard w Crowley. (1970). Arrow. US: Potomac research,incorporsted.
  • Riordan, K. (2007, october 5). Marine Heritage Database. Retrieved from Maritime Museum of the Atlantic: https://novascotia.ca/museum/wrecks/wrecks/shipwrecks.asp?ID=468
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency. (1999). Understanding Oil Spills And Oil Spill Response. Oswer: Office of Emergency and remedial response.


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