USFWS
Fisheries & Ecological Services
Alaska Region

 

Environmental Contaminants

Spill Response & Restoration

M/V Kuroshima Oil Spill

On November 26, 1997 the M/V Kuroshima, a 368-foot frozen seafood freighter, broke free from its anchorage in hurricane-force winds and ran aground in Summers Bay on Unalaska Island. An estimated 39,000 gallons of Bunker C fuel oil spilled from the freighter. Resources injured by the spill included at least 15 species of birds, three species of Pacific salmon, Dolly Varden, shellfish and other intertidal species, vegetation, and recreational uses.

Trustees for the Kuroshima incident include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of the Interior (including the Fish and Wildlife Service), and the State of Alaska, working in consultation with the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska. NOAA, as federal lead Oiled Bird, M/V Kuroshima spill. 1997. USFWS.administrative trustee for this damage assessment, maintains a website with more comprehensive information about the spill and damage assessment.

The Kuroshima Restoration Plan (pdf ) was developed by federal and state natural resource trustees in consultation with the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska. This plan was finalized in May 2002, following a public comment period. The Service’s role in the restoration is to restore native seabird populations impacted by the spill. This will be accomplished by removing non-native foxes that prey on seabirds from a nearby island. In 2002, the Service conducted an initial survey of bird populations on Avatanak Island, to establish a population baseline. Foxes were removed beginning in 2004. Post-restoration monitoring of bird populations was conducted in 2007 to evaluate success of the project.

 

 

Last reviewed: March 24, 2014