Homer-area oyster farms could be threatened by pollution

By December 27, 2012Health

The state has ordered oyster farms in Jakolof Bay near Homer to stop selling oysters, due to possible pollution from two fishing vessels that sank earlier this week.

The Leading Lady and Kupreanof were discovered under water on Christmas day. Heavy snow load may have contributed to the sinking.

While the Kupreanof had no engine or fuel on board, the owner of the Leading Lady estimated that 50 gallons of diesel fuel and 35 gallons of hydraulic fluids and lube oils were on the boat. A pollution sheen approximately 100 feet by 100 feet could be seen around the vessels.

The boats went down within the Kachemak Bay Critical Habitat Area near several oyster farms.

The Alaska Environmental Health issued the stop sale order on Wednesday, but oysters are not scheduled for harvest until spring. Officials say they will evaluate the oysters at that time, before farmers will be allowed to sell them.

View Oyster farms in danger from pollution in a larger map

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