Nearly six tons of marine debris collected from a remote island were offloaded in Ketchikan last week.
The Western Mariner was towing an Alaska Marine Lines barge in Neva Strait early on the morning of March 21 when a steering failure caused the two vessels to collide, pushing the tugboat onto the shore.
According to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, a light diesel sheen remained in the area where the boat was grounded.
On Thursday, for the first time, the sheen was reported in Krestof Sound, an area where Pacific herring are known to spawn in the spring.
Biologists are looking into how a recent diesel spill around 15 miles northwest of Sitka will affect the sac roe herring fishery.
The grounding ruptured one of the tug’s fuel tanks, which can hold around 13,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The state says that a sheen was observed covering an area of around 4 nautical miles, north to Salisbury Sound.
Barge rates have gone up in the new year across Southeast Alaska. But the rising cost of hauling goods into coastal communities isn’t the only reason a trip to the grocery store might be more expensive.
Last fall, Alaska Marine Lines announced it would start refusing shipments of solid waste in open containers on June 1.
Reforming the Alaska Marine Highway System has been a priority of coastal legislators who want more autonomy for the state ferry system.
Alaska’s largest barge operator is raising prices. Economists say it could lead to higher prices for groceries and other local consumer goods next year.