Potential Oil-Related Contamination in Nunatsiavut

Press Release

July 7, 2022

Following the diesel spill in Kaipokok Bay near Postville in 2020, the Nunatsiavut Government has been involved in spill response and monitoring. While issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic have delayed analyses, new partial results from these efforts show elevated levels for some diesel-related compounds in pigeon (black guillemot) eggs harvested near Postville in 2020 and 2021, and near Nain in 2021.

It is still uncertain whether that contamination has any human health implication, whether it is present in other species or communities, and whether it is related to the 2020 diesel spill.

The Nunatsiavut Government is currently in communication with Health Canada to understand the potential significance of these results in terms of consumption and human health. Testing is also ongoing to confirm the results, as well as for levels in eggs for saddlers (Great black-backed gull) and ducks (Common eider) and in adult birds for ducks and pigeons. The Nunatsiavut Government is working on expanded testing in other communities and species as well.

Unfortunately, the information available at this point does not allow the Nunatsiavut Government to formulate advice regarding harvesting and consumption of pigeon eggs or other wild food. The Nunatsiavut Government is asking beneficiaries to consider this uncertainty in their harvesting decisions this summer.

The Nunatsiavut Government is working to provide beneficiaries with clear answers regarding this situation as soon as possible; and information will be shared as it becomes available.

For more information, contact:
Frédéric Dwyer-Samuel
Avatet Kaujisattaugutinginnik Aulatsijik / Environmental Assessment Manager
Phone: (709) 899-6702 / (709) 922-2380 #227
Email: frederic.dwyer-samuel@nunatsiavut.com


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