Kachemak Bay spill days fishing

Posted: Friday, June 27, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) A 43-foot fishing tender capsized early Wednesday inside a salmon fishing area near Port Graham on the south side of Kachemak Bay, spilling diesel fuel and creating a sheen on the water.

A commercial set-gillnet fishery to start Thursday morning in the Port Graham subdistrict was postponed ''as a precautionary measure'' until further notice while biologists monitored the spill, said the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. A subsistence fishery set for Thursday night also was suspended.

The tender American Eagle capsized for unknown reasons about 1 a.m. east of Russian Point inside the mouth of Port Graham, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said in an incident report. The only crew member on board at the time was safe.

It was not clear how much of the estimated 400 gallons of diesel fuel on the vessel spilled. State biologists who flew over the site Wednesday afternoon observed a narrow sheen trailing the vessel less than 200 yards off the beach.

Port Graham villagers circled the vessel with a boom to keep fuel from spreading. A diver was to plug the tender's vents.

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