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January 20, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario  

Today, the Administrator of the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund announced the successful recovery of $375,000 from the shipowners of the Cormorant for polluting the water in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia in 2015. 

In 2015, the Cormorant partially sank at Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, discharging oil into the La Have River. A response operation managed by the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) removed 5,850 litres of waste oil and 350 litres of hydraulic oil from the vessel. The CCG submitted a claim to the Fund for the associated costs. 

In 2016, the Administrator and her legal team began taking extensive legal actions to recover from the shipowners for the cost of the CCG’s oil spill response operation. In 2019, a settlement that included a consent judgment was reached with the Port of Bridgewater and a numbered company. Those parties admitted ownership of the vessel and agreed to pay $375,000 to the Fund. The Administrator registered the judgment against the Port of Bridgewater’s property. Upon the recent sale of that property, the Administrator was able to recover the totality of the settled amount. 

Canada’s regime is based on the polluter-pays principle. Shipowners are responsible for oil pollution damage caused by their ship or boat. Since 1989, the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund has compensated those who suffer oil pollution damages caused by any type of oil, from any type of ship or boat, anywhere in Canadian waters. Once a claimant receives payment from the Fund, the Administrator takes all reasonable measures to recover from the shipowner or other persons responsible.  


“We are pleased that our recovery efforts were successful and that we were able to recover $375,000 from the shipowner. We are committed to taking all necessary steps to make sure polluters are held accountable for the damages they cause”. 

Anne Legars, Administrator of the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund 

Quick facts 

  • Constructed in 1963, the 75-metre long Cormorant was a former Royal Canadian Navy diving support ship that was decommissioned and sold to private entities in 1997.  
  • In 2015, the Fund paid over $530,000 to the CCG for its response operation to an oil spill caused by the Cormorant 
  • In 2020, the CCG announced the removal, deconstruction, and recycling of the Cormorant, which was completed in the summer of 2021. 

Page Break 

Associated link 

Incident Summary: Cormorant (2015), p.37: 



Jannie Bédard Guillemette
Communications Officer 
Follow the Fund on Twitter: @sopf_cidphn 

2020-2021 Annual Report is now available

The 2020-2021 Annual Report is now available at: This report highlights the work of the Fund over the course of the last fiscal year.

Should you have any suggestions for next year’s report, please send them to


The article describes the type of claims a shipowner or operator can submit to the Fund when they suffer oil pollution damage from another ship.

It also summarizes the list of operational incidents caused by commercial vessels that generated claims with the Fund.

Thank you to Master Mariners of Canada for telling your members about the Fund.

2019-2020 Annual Report

The 2019-2020 Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund Annual Report is now available on our website (, under “Publications”). Should you have any suggestions for next year’s report, please forward them to

2019-2020 Annual Report Incident Summaries

A compilation of the summaries of all incident cases listed in the Incident Index of the Administrator’s 2019-2020 Annual Report, is now available on the website under Annual Incident Summaries at

Pitts Carillon: The County of Prince Edward in Ontario accepted the Administrator’s offer of compensation – 2019-09-11

Recent News: The County of Prince Edward in Ontario accepted the Administrator’s offer of compensation for the Pitts Carillon incident. They will receive $394,110.76 (with interest), marking the highest amount ever paid to a local government in the history of the Fund.

In 2017, the County of Prince Edward called a water emergency and shut down their water plant as a result of the sinking and spilling from the barge. The pollutants released on the day of the sinking totalled approximately 50 litres in volume.

We want to remind municipalities, cities, villages, townships and Indigenous communities that, in case of damages, they can submit claims for:

  • Clean-up costs and preventive measures
  • Property damages
  • Costs for rehabilitating damaged environments
  • Economic losses

It is not the first time that we compensate regarding municipal water treatment systems. In 2017, we$225,094.77 to the Municipality of Killarney following the Warren L. II incident:

  • We compensated for preventive measures taken to protect their water plant and for the costs of importing water to keep up with local demands during the water system shutdown.

For more information on the Pitts Carllion incident, visit:

For more information on the Warren L. II incident, visit:

The Picton Gazette – Pitts Carillon – 2019-08-26

Recent news regarding the Pitts Carillon and the claim process after a water emergency was declared as contaminants were approaching the water intake zone for Picton and Bloomfield water plants.

Thanks to The Picton Gazette for covering the story:

  • “For 30 years, the Fund has been mandated to compensate victims of oil pollution damage (including costs incurred for preventive measures) caused by ships and then take action to recover the costs from the polluters or other responsible parties,” according to the SOPF.

Motion of sale dismissed in the HMCS Cormorant case – 2019-07-27

Recent news regarding the HMCS Cormorant, a former Royal Canadian Navy ship, that listed and leaked oil in the LaHave River, Town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. The Federal Court of Canada dismissed a motion that would have allowed the sale of the ship.

  • We opposed the sale because the ship has no market value, is a pollution risk and liability, and it is not in the public interest to allow the sale.

The Fund, who already paid more than half a million dollars for pollution cleanup, will continue the Court process to recuperate the cost from the polluter.

Thanks to the LighthouseNOW  and the Chronicle Herald for telling the story.

  • To read the complete articles, please visit:

Maritime Magazine – Highlights of 30th anniversary conference of the Fund – Summer 2019

Thanks Maritime Magazine for highlighting our 30th anniversary of compensating victims of oil pollution from ships.

We also wish to thank the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC Funds), Transport Canada, Canadian Coast Guard, Lyackson First Nation, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Town of Shelburne, Nova Scotia and the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities for their contribution!

BC Shipping News – May 2019

Industry Insight : More than just big spills from tankers…Anne Legars, Administrator, Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund…Legars provides insight into Canada’s oil spill liability and compensation regime, noting that it’s not just for big spills from tankers”



APRIL 24, 2019


OTTAWA – The Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund (the Fund) today celebrates 30 years of compensating victims of oil pollution from ships. Since its creation in 1989, the Fund has received more than 409 claims and paid $24 million in compensation following the discharge – or the risk of a discharge – of oil in Canadian waters from ships of all types.

“Thirty years ago today, Canada established a compensation regime whereby victims of pollution can be compensated directly by the Fund, which then takes action against the polluter, while protecting taxpayers”, said Anne Legars, the Fund’s Administrator. “Since 1989, guided by the polluter pays principle, the Fund has been involved in 48 court cases, and as a result of its increased efforts over the last three years, it has recovered $2.6 million through the courts and out of court, more than ever before!”

Here are a few more key numbers:

  • The Canadian Coast Guard remains the Fund’s main claimant, with close to 7 out of 10 claims submitted to the Fund;
  • 1 out of every 4 claims involves a derelict or abandoned vessel or a wreck;
  • The largest amount claimed in a single year was in 2017-2018, when the Fund received 32 claims totalling $7 million;
  • The highest compensation amount paid to a single claimant was in 2018, when the Fund paid $4.2 million to the Canadian Coast Guard following the sinking of the Chaulk Determination in Trois-Rivières;
  • Canadian victims received $12 million from the International Funds following the spill of 200 tons of fuel oil from the tanker Rio Orinoco, which sank off Anticosti Island in 1990;
  • 2017-2018 was an historic year in terms of the diversity of claimants.

Throughout the year of celebration, the Fund will maximize its communication efforts in order to increase awareness of the Fund and continue to promote access to justice and compensation.

“We are actively working to inform all potential claimants of the Fund’s existence and the compensation they are entitled to, particularly by publishing more tools aimed at facilitating claims”, said Anne Legars, who is inviting all Canadians to participate online in the Fund’s anniversary conference scheduled for May 28, 2019 by visiting the following link:


FOR MORE INFORMATION / POUR PLUS D’INFORMATION: Jannie Bédard Guillemette: 613-990-8666

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Canadian Sailings – March 2019 Issue: Celebrating 30 years of compensating victims of oil pollution

Our Administrator, Anne Legars, wrote an article in Canadian Sailings magazine for the March 2019 issue. The article summarizes the activities of the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund over the last thirty years, and discusses significant legislative amendments in December 2018.

Thank you to Canadian Sailings for telling our story.

To read the article, please visit Canadian Sailings website, or follow the link below.