Doubly lucky: economic impact of the English Bay bunker oil spill of April 2015.

On the 8th and 9th of April, 2015, less than a month after leaving Japan on its maiden voyage, the M.V. Marathassa leaked approximately 2,700 litres of fuel oil into English Bay, the body of water adjacent to downtown Vancouver, Canada. Although investigations into the exact cause of the leak are still ongoing, mechanical issues are thought to have contributed. All beaches affected by the oil were reopened by the end of April, and fishing was permitted in areas that had been closed to recreational and commercial fishing by mid-May. Here, we present an estimation of the economic impacts of this oil spill on Metro Vancouver’s marine-related economic activities, including commercial fishing and tourism activities. Total economic losses to local businesses and organizations as a result of the spill have been estimated to amount to between $25,805 to $31,105 in lost revenue, and between $45,655 and $46,005 in lost profit. In addition, approximately $12,850 to $12,900 in additional costs were incurred, and between 185 and 285 hours of employment were lost. The Marathassa bunker fuel oil spill was a fairly minor spill resulting in relatively minor financial losses to local marine-dependent businesses and organizations. However, it is important to note that despite the small size of this spill, some businesses were affected and were not compensated for these losses. These same businesses and organizations are those that would stand to lose the most and would be hit the fastest and hardest if a larger oil spill were to occur.