Alaskan Leader Fisheries Fined for 2013 Oil Spill

Washington state officials have fined Alaskan Leader
Fisheries LLC $11,000 for a 2013 oil spill of 181 gallons of diesel fuel into
Elliott Bay from one of its fishing vessels, the 167-foot catcher-processor Bristol
The Washington Department of Ecology also announced on Jan.
15 that Alaskan Leader Fisheries was billed $1,715 for the state’s costs of
responding to and overseeing the spill cleanup.
The spill occurred while the Bristol Leader was taking
on fuel from a tank truck at Terminal 91.
The incoming fuel, intended for empty tanks on the Bristol
, went instead to a partly full tank. Officials with the
Department of Ecology determined that the vessel’s chief engineer had not
followed the company’s written procedures and loading plan, which specified
which tanks would receive fuel and in what order, and required the chief
engineer to monitor tank levels and valve settings.
“The company could have prevented the spill if they had kept
a close watch on the valves and fuel levels,” said David Byers, Ecology’s spill
response supervisor.
Fuel flowed out of a fuel tank air vent and filled a
surrounding 49-gallon containment bin. The fuel then flowed across the deck and
overboard. An oil spill containment boom was placed around the Bristol
before fueling began, and kept most of the fuel from spreading
beyond waters immediately around the vessel.
The company delivering the fuel to the Bristol Leader made the
initial report.
Alaskan Leader Fisheries had no prior Washington spills, and
cooperated with the spill cleanup response and follow-up investigation, state
officials said.
The company was also issued a $1,966 assessment earlier for
damage the spill caused to the public’s natural resources. That assessment was
paid in March 2014.
Alaskan Leader Fisheries, with locations in Lynden, Washington
and Anchorage, Alaska, is owned by the Alaska Leader Group and Bristol Bay
Economic Development Corp.
Each of these groups consists of individuals who are
lifelong fishing families who currently own and operate various fishing vessels
in the salmon, longline and pot fisheries of Alaska.

Alaska Leader Fisheries manages the F/V Alaskan Leader, F/V
Bristol Leader
and F/V Bering Leader, which are owned
50 percent by ALG and 50 percent by BBEDC.