The lack of recovery of Prince William Sound herring continues to be of major concern to the people who live in the region, scientists, and the Trustee Council. Herring are an injured species and are essential to other species injured by the spill. Therefore, the Trustee Council has initiated a herring restoration effort that utilizes an ecosystem approach.
Recovery of herring is a complex task, as the causes for the lack of recovery are poorly understood and herring play a critical role in the ecosystem. Thus, the precautionary principle to "first do no harm" is of primary importance.
Research into herring issues has been initiated, while a recovery plan with a myriad of alternatives, is being developed. The alternatives range from increased research to better understand and manage herring to direct intervention activities such as supplementation and increased harvest of competitors and predators. None of these potential actions are trivial, some are controversial, and all will require time and effort to evaluate cost and effectiveness.