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The Nation

Even though the March 24 Exxon Valdez oil spill shut down fishing in the Gulf of Alaska and Prince William Sound, Alaska reported a record season. A preliminary state Department of Fish and Game report said Alaska fishermen hauled in 150.7 million salmon. The previous record catch was 146.7 million salmon in 1985. If the oil spill had not occurred, said Don Collinsworth, state Department of Fish and Game commissioner, the salmon harvest would have topped 155 million fish. The catch, weighing in at 634 million pounds, was worth $491 million. Last year, a much smaller catch brought in $742 million for fishermen because 1989 salmon prices were lower than 1988 prices. Fishermen earned $296 million from Exxon in claims for lost wages and in fishing boat charters to work on the oil cleanup.


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