Herring fishery short and sweet

There were lots of fish in the Salish Sea, but they were small

The herring fishery saw lots of fish

There were lots of herring swimming the Salish Sea this year, but they were small and of relatively low value, according to Greg Thomas from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

The co-ordinator for Pacific herring for the DFO said the fishery was suspended at the end of last week.

“We had a lot of fish in the gulf this year but they were small,” he said. “It looks like we had a good recruitment of first-year spawners and they are small, relative to the older fish — and that means a relatively small size, which is not good for the fishing industry. They are looking for larger fish with larger roe.”

This year’s spawn, he said, was a big one however, stretching from north of Comox to the top end of Gabriola Island, although he conceded there were some bare patches.

Overall, the gillnet fishery did the best this year, coming close to their targeted catch, pulling in 4,500 tons out of a quota of 4,850 tons. The seine fleet wasn’t so fortunate, harvesting about 3,500 tons out of a total quota of about 6,700 tons.

“The seiners chose not to take their full quota because of the relatively small fish size and the lower value of the fish,” he said.

Although not all the fishermen will be happy with this year’s catch, Thomas said it bodes well for the future of the herring stock and the fishery.

“There certainly was substantial abundance and that’s a good sign for the future,” he said.

“In a year or two, when the mean size of these fish increases, it will be a more lucrative fishery — unless we have another boom in young recruitment like we saw this year, but we usually don’t see these kinds of recruitments two years in a row.”

Overall, he said the DFO had forecast a return of about 150,000 tons of herring this year and they are in the process of assessing how accurate their prediction was, so they can make a prediction for next year’s quota.

 

Just Posted

Firefighters battle reported bush blaze in Coombs

Multiple departments from Parksville Qualicum Beach area on-scene

Man dead after reported early-morning hit-and-run incident in Parksville

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Retired Nanoose Bay teacher ‘Set for Life’ after $675K lottery win

Shannon plans to buy new sails for his sailboat

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

Island murder victim’s mom expresses outrage over mental fitness decision of the accused

Smith vows to keep fighting until justice served for Descoteau

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Most Read