Museum Memories: An act of civil disobedience

Photo courtesy of the Cordova Historical Society

With the collapse of the pink salmon and herring in 1993, fishermen tired of the corporate rhetoric. In an act of civil disobedience, the fleet blockaded Valdez Narrows, holding up tanker traffic and 25 percent of the nation’s domestic oil supply for three days.

Fishermen demanded to know what the long-term implications of oil meant to commercial fishing. By this date, the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council had been set up to oversee and distribute funds from the civil settlement between Exxon, the U.S. government and the state of Alaska.

These funds were to be used to mitigate losses stemming and to protect critical habitat areas. After the blockade, the EVOS Trustee Council approved the Sound Ecosystem Assessment, a $22.4 million multi-project study of the processes influencing the recovery of damaged pink salmon and herring populations in PWS.