Thursday, April 25, 2013

Some herring notes

A fine mess of Togiak herring. Tim Sands photo
As previously reported, the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery was less than fulfilling this year. The harvest came in at less than half the preseason quota of 11,549 tons.

Deckboss hears reliably that processors advanced $500 a ton. We'll see if the market pushes that higher.

Sitka, of course, is just the start of herring season around Alaska. Several other fisheries are either under way or soon will be.

In Southeast Alaska, for example, 83 permit holders recently took part in a spawn-on-kelp fishery at Ernest Sound.

At Kodiak, purse seiners and gillnetters are prosecuting the local sac roe herring fishery.

In May, the action will shift to the remote village of Togiak, in Bristol Bay. This historically has been the scene of the largest herring fishery by volume in the state.

Togiak once was highly competitive, with scores of boats and processors operating under the direction of a small air force of spotter planes.

Today, the fishery is a much more leisurely affair, as the traditional Japanese market for herring roe simply isn't what it used to be.

A very large quota of 30,056 tons is available for this year's Togiak sac roe fishery. Details in this announcement from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

A great deal of herring also will be up for grabs in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region along Alaska's western coast.

Coastal Villages Region Fund has announced it intends to pay fishermen a base price of $350 per ton this year for AYK herring.


Anonymous said...

I sure do miss herring fishing, Its been 24 years since a drunken Exxon tanker cracked a tanker of crude open in the herring spawning area of Prince William sound, and still no fishing. Does anyone doubt the reason for the decline of PWS Herring?

Anonymous said...

Its too bad that this fishery was stolen form us by the Buyers. those of us that participated for years have bee cut out and are not allowed tto fish. you need to be on the "special" list to take part.

Anonymous said...

A recent research paper examined the possible causes of the lack of herring biomass in PWS.

The most likely cause for continuing low abundance of herring - intense food competition from the millions and millions of hatchery salmon smolts dumped into PWS every year.

Anonymous said...

Hundreds of millions.

Anonymous said...

Now don't be talking bad about hatcheries.We're not supposed to talk about that,

Anonymous said...

I will say it is odd that there was never a problem like that for more than a decade before the oil spill and that it all changed right then, I geuss what really matters there is who is paying for your study, if it is Exxon well of course it could not be the fact that minimum 11 million gallons of crude was dumped on in the spawning beds, it would be the fault of the fish hatchery. Also it is funny that those tiny fry survive so well during this extreme competion for food, in fact record survival and the herring are so much bigger.

Anonymous said...

@April 26, 2013 at 9:03 AM:

The nail on the head. This monstrosity effects a huge area. Sooner or later science will catch up and the losers will wake up. But that will be a long time coming.

Anonymous said...

Resource users of PWS need to decide what they want: hatchery salmon or herring.

Anonymous said...

That recent research paper was completely funded By Exxon MobilCorp, here is the link and says paid for by exxon at the bottom. Do You suppose they were shifting the blame.

Anonymous said...

I am a resource user of PWS and I want more herring and salmon and fewer whales.

Anonymous said...

There were millions of herring before the spill. Millions of hatchery fish have been released in PWS since the middle of the 70's.
Only fools and apparently some fishermen would believe a study funded by Exxon. They could cherry pick the research enough to make it say that the spill was good for the sound.