USFWS
Fisheries & Ecological Services
Alaska Region

 

Spill Response & Restoration

Selendang Ayu Oil Spill

Selendag Ayu photo. Photo Credit: Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.Date of incident
December 8, 2004

Location: Off Spray Cape, Unalaska Island, Alaska

Natural Resource Trustees: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (representing the Department of Interior and serving as the Lead Administrative Trustee); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (for the Department of Commerce); Alaska Department of Fish & Game; Alaska Department of Natural Resources; Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation; and Alaska Department of Law.

Overview: On December 8, 2004, the 738-foot cargo vessel M/V Selendang Ayu, ran aground and broke in half off Unalaska Island in the Aleutian Islands.  Six of the vessel’s crew members were lost in the rescue effort. The cargo vessel, which was bound to Asia with a 60,000-ton soybean load, was carrying approximately 425,000 gallons of Intermediate Fuel Oil 380 and 21,000 gallons of marine diesel oil.  An estimated 354,218 gallons of those oils were released into the environment.  For more information about the oil spill cleanup effort, visit the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Selendang Ayu website.

While the Unified Command worked to contain and clean up the oil, the Natural Resource Trustees investigatedthe impacts of the oil spill as part of the natural resource damage assessment and restoration (NRDAR) process.  Approximately 86 miles of shoreline habitat were oiled.  Much of the shoreline affected is managed as part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.  Some of the shoreline oiling persisted to at least 2008.  The Trustees collected 1,795 dead birds, but there are always more animals that die during an oil spill than are collected.  At least two sea otters are known to have died due to the spill.  The Trustees also investigated impacts to other natural resources and to the human uses of all impacted natural resources.

Status of NRDAR:  A final Assessment Plan was published in January 2016 (available from “Record” link in the menu to the left).

Last reviewed: July 2018