Humpbacks and Herring

After record commercial herring harvests in Prince William Sound in the late 1980s, herring took a major hit shortly after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The fishery collapsed in 1993, when just 25 percent of the expected adult herring returned to spawn and state regulators closed commercial herring fishing. With the exception of openings in 1997 and 1998, it has remained closed. Many Prince William Sound fishermen still blame the spill for the absence of herring, and biologists have offered numerous other possible explanations. However, a new study by researchers at the University of Alaska Southeast and the National Marine Fisheries Service has revealed some unexpected potential culprits: humpback whales. KCHU's Erik Wander has more:

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