A forklift punctured a shipping container filled with fish oil in Unalaska on Thursday, spilling it across a shipyard. Fish oil is considered an environmental hazard, but far less damaging than crude oil. Some of the bright orange oil flowed into a storm drain and into the ocean. Resolve Marine stopped it from spreading more by plugging the drain with gravel and dirt.
A couple hundred gallons of the 5,700-gallon bladder made it into the ocean. But U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Andres Ayure said because fish oil is biodegradable, it’s not too hard on the environment.
“Technically, in large quantities it could be seen as a marine pollutant. But in the quantities that we saw and with the weather we had, it will disperse, emulsify very quickly, and not harm the environment,” said Ayure.
Calm seas made it easier to contain and clean up the fish oil. If it had not spilled, the fish oil would have been shipped off the island and processed into products like fish oil supplements.
Shipping company Matson is responsible for the spill and for the cleanup, which Ayure said can be costly. The Coast Guard is also putting together a report on the incident and Matson could face fines and further penalties.
- Anchorage Assembly members are considering whether to spend $100,000 to hire an independent analyst to monitor an ongoing modernization project at the Port of Alaska.
- The investigation was prompted by a hospital safety officer warning that API staff were excessively restraining and isolating patients, as well as using force in ways that violate the facility’s own guidelines.
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski is talking about global warming more than ever. While the Green New Deal is a lightning rod in Congress, Murkowski says she's reaching for what's politically possible.
- Air ambulance company Guardian Flight says it has recovered the cockpit voice recorder for its plane that crashed in Southeast Alaska’s Frederick Sound in late January.