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Map excerpt showing Bligh Reef.
Map excerpt showing Bligh Reef and automated beacon.

Bligh Reef, sometimes known as Bligh Island Reef,[1] is a reef off the coast of Bligh Island in Prince William Sound, Alaska. This was the location of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.[2] After the incident, US Code 33 § 2733 mandated the operation of an automated navigation light to prevent future collisions with the reef.[3] Bligh Reef is also where Alaska Steamship Company's Olympia ran aground in 1910.[4] Despite these efforts the tug Pathfinder ran aground on Bligh Reef on Dec 24, 2009, rupturing its tanks and spilling diesel fuel.[5]

Bligh Reef serves as a fishing ground for halibut[6] and a harvesting area for shrimp.[7] The nearest town is Tatitlek, which lies 7 miles to the northeast.[1]

The reef was named after William Bligh, of future Bounty fame, who served as Master aboard ship during James Cook's third world voyage.


  1. ^ a b "Bligh Reef". HomeTownLocator, Inc.. 2008.,ftc,1,fid,1420516,n,Bligh%20Reef.cfm. Retrieved 2008-05-17.  
  2. ^ "Frequently asked questions about the Spill". History of the Spill. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. Retrieved 2008-03-10.  
  3. ^ 33 USC 2733
  4. ^ "Olympia's Passengers Safe". New York Times. 1910-12-13. pp. 10. Retrieved 2008-05-17.  
  5. ^ "Tug grounds on same reef as Exxon Valdez tanker". Anchorage Daily News. 2009-12-24. pp. 1. Retrieved 2000-12-25.  
  6. ^ "Prince William Sound July Fishing Summary". Alaska Department of Fish & Game. 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-17.  
  7. ^ "Prince William Sound Shrimp" (PDF). Recreational Fishing Series. Alaska Department of Fish & Game. Retrieved 2008-05-17.  

Coordinates: 60°50′26″N 146°52′48″W / 60.8405556°N 146.88°W / 60.8405556; -146.88



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