Herring arrives at French Creek Marina

Thousands of tons off-loaded as French Creek Seafoods staff and fishermen work to get the herring frozen and shipped to processing plants

Thousands of tons of herring were unloaded from boats at French Creek Marina on Tuesday afternoon after two busy days on the water near Parksville Qualicum Beach.

The activity off the beaches on the central Island has slowed, but it’s not over yet, says Department of Fisheries and Oceans scientist Greg Thomas.

“The fishery is ongoing for gill nets but they are nearly done,” Thomas said. “They only have about 200 tons out of their 6,700 tons remaining.”

The seine fleet isn’t doing as well, with only just in excess of 4,000 tons caught so far.

“The industry has slowed their catch because of problems with capacity to deal with packing and offloading, Thomas said. “There has been so much fish arriving at once.”

He said the area of the herring spawn has spread to between 40 and 50 miles, mostly between Parksville and Nile Creek and in Lambert Channel on the east side of Denman Island.

Thomas said he expects the fishery to wrap up within the next few days. However, the herring spawn will continue.

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