Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - Opinions



Herring: The foundation of the pyramid of life in southeast Alaska
by Clay Slanaker


April 03, 2004

Fishing in Alaska can be one of the most exhilarating experiences known to man. During the summer months mother nature unfolds one of the most incredible displays of survival of the fittest ever documented, the waters of southeast Alaska team with many different kinds of fish including the five species of Pacific salmon.

The feasting begins in the month of April, enormous schools of herring charge the shoreline to begin their period of procreation. Entering the shallows by the mega tons they are easy prey for eagles, gulls, and a variety of diving birds. Stellar sealions, seals, porpoise and whales gorge themselves from another angle keeping the swarming baitfish pinned to the beach. The herring continue their dance of life throughout the onslaught of predation, finishing the cycle of life for another year in just ten short days.

May brings longer days and better weather, also the King salmon, largest of the salmon species return by the thousands to enter the game. The hungry sportfish feed on small cod, squid, candlefish, and of course their staple food HERRING! These creatures are the second leg of the food chain, they are consumed by seals, sealions, Orcas, and the dominate player, man. Halibut come out of the deep at this time to enjoy the feast, for it is necessary for their existence. Many other sea creatures partake in the abundance of the herring, for it is the foundation of the pyramid of life in southeast Alaska.

My question at hand is, why do we choose to chip away at this foundation only to watch our house crumble?

Shame on ADF&G and the board of fish. Governor Murkowski PLEASE HELP!

Lifetime resident,

Clay Slanaker
Ketchikan, AK - USA



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


Post a Comment -------View Comments

Submit an Opinion - Letter

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska