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

Coombs farm auction returns April 28

CFI hosts 41st annual auction

Ballenas grad to perform opera and art songs in Parksville to fund Prague trip

UBC music student Juliana Cook was asked to study and sing in the Czech Republic

Qualicum Beach versus Parksville – who wins?

Councils could take part in first-ever lawn bowling challenge

Ravensong Waterdancers to get you in sync

Teams will perform 12 routines at watershow on April 28

Soccer Whalers trip 49ers 1-0 in high school clash

Ballenas now prepares for North Island championships

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

Party with extreme views on immigration running on Vancouver Island

Opposing candidate says National Citizens Alliance’s participation ‘highly problematic’

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Most Read