Prince William Sound fishermen test oil spill response skills near Whittier

At first glance, it appeared to be a carefully orchestrated aquatic slow dance, set to the tune of barking sea lions. About 20 small commercial fishing vessels were joined Tuesday by large barges and state-of-the-art tugboats to test new oil spill response equipment on Prince William Sound. Smaller craft towed “current buster” oil booms in tandem with larger fishing boats deploying skimmers that would collect oil from the boom for transfer to a barge tank. It was one in a series of training exercises by Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.’s Fishing Vessel Response Program, which has an annual budget of $8 million. “Without these fishing vessels you don’t have a response plan,” said Jeremy Robida, the spill prevention and response manager for the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council. >click to read<15:30

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