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The Nation : Key Salmon Fishery Latest Spill Casualty

June 11, 1989

The latest casualty of the March 24 Exxon Valdez oil spill is the major salmon fishery in Kamishak Bay at the southern end of Cook Inlet. Although ocean-borne oil from the spill had bypassed the bay, oil that washed ashore on nearby beaches has been pushed off the sand by recent storms and into the bay's fishing waters. The closure comes because of Alaska's zero-tolerance policy, meaning that the state will not tolerate any oil in the fishery to risk contaminating the catch or tainting the image of pristine Alaska seafood. The 1,000-square-mile fishing district is " a very significant fishery ," biologist Tom Shroeder said, adding that canceling the bay's fishing "was always seen as a possibility through we expected it to be extremely remote."

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