VANCOUVER — Scientists at the Vancouver Aquarium are examining samples from the bunker fuel spill off the city’s harbour to help confirm the source, how far the oil has spread, and the risks to sea life.

The facility’s marine science centre is undertaking an analysis of oil, water, sediment and shellfish samples it collected from shorelines after the spill.

The bulk grain carrier dumped at least 2,700 litres of fuel into English Bay last Wednesday and the fuel quickly spread to beaches in the bay, along Stanley Park and on West Vancouver’s shores.

Peter Ross of the aquarium’s research institute says scientists are undertaking independent analysis alongside that being done by government agencies.

Aquarium CEO John Nightingale says there is a major gap in understanding Vancouver’s coastal environments because there is no long-term monitoring of the local ecosystems.

He says if the goal of clean-up efforts is to restore the harbour to the state it was before the leak, that can’t be done because there is no solid foundation of what it was like in the past.

The Canadian Press