12/13/2013 08:53 EST | Updated 02/12/2014 05:59 EST

Change Island residents demand action on leaky Manolis L

The discovery of more oil-covered ducks near Change Islands, N.L., in Notre Dame Bay has prompted residents to demand something be done about Manolis L, the cargo ship that shank almost 30 years ago.

In May, divers with the Canadian Coast Guard sealed the hull, which had been leaking Bunker C fuel.

But local hunters like Cory Brinson are still finding eider ducks and other seabirds coated in oil. 

Brinson and a friend were bird hunting on Thursday, and of the eight ducks they hunted, five had oil on them.

"Actually, where I went to pick them up, you could smell it at the beach there. You couldn't see it, but you could smell it," said Brinson. 

The Canadian Coast Guard said it could only find less than a litre of oil during regular surveillance flights, but Brinson said there has to be more. 

"They fly out there, and they look at it, and they go out there in boats and they look at it. But it don't seem like they're doing anything about it. 

"I just wish they would clean it up. I mean, this has been going on ever since last March. We've put in a lot of complaints about it, and I just wish someone would get off their ass and do something." 

Seabird biologist Bill Montevecchi has done field work in the area.

Montevecchi said birds that get even a small bit of oil on them often ingest the substance and eventually die.

"I mean in a nutshell, every oiled bird is a dead bird," he said.

About 500 tonnes of fuel remain in the ship.

"This is a chronic, ongoing leak, and it's going to be that way until there's a decision made to remove that oil." 

The coast guard said siphoning out the vessel is a dangerous and complex job, and would not happen until next spring, at the earliest.

"The oil really has to be removed. I'm sure it's a big job, but if that job is not solved, we're going to continue to see these seepages and leaks."

The agency plans to fly over the area to investigate on Friday.