[This story originally appeared on The North Coast Review, a blog based in Prince Rupert that contains “items of interest to those living on the North Coast of BC.”]
The 2020-21 herring fishery won’t be the gold rush of silvery fish of the legendary days of past, with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans announcing what will be a limited year for herring catch opportunities for this upcoming season.
The Integrated Fisheries Management Plan released on Friday has allocated for a maximum harvest level of five percent or 910 tonnes for the Prince Rupert District, while also allowing for limited access for spawn-on-kelp commercial fisheries.
The management plan has also put in place fisheries closures for Haida Gwaii, while still allowing for First Nations food, social and ceremonial fisheries in all areas.
The document says that these measures are designed to maintain a healthy herring stock.
“The harvest approach utilized for this fishery has been rigorously tested by the Department following international best practices. This testing demonstrates that the harvest approach is highly likely to conserve the stocks over the long term,” it reads.
The output of production at local fish plants for the most part shifted over the past decade from full-on processing to now mostly landing and shipping out by truck for further processing in southern plants in the Greater Vancouver area.
That has also meant a reduction in the availability of processing jobs for local fish plant workers over the course of the last ten years.
The decision for at least some form of a herring season for 2021 comes following some sparse years recently, including a complete closure two years ago.