Herring, Prince William Sound

The herring population in Prince William Sound crashed in 1993, just 4 years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill released 11 million gallons of crude into these waters. The collapse put an end to an $8-million-dollar-a-year fishery, and left a hole in the middle of the marine food web. Scientists have spent years trying to understand if and how the spill played a role in the herring’s demise here, and the results have been hotly contested. All of the legal proceedings finally closed in 2015, with herring listed as an impacted species but with most herring fishers feeling poorly compensated. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore Prince William Sound.