by Pete Ellis
April 21, 2004
It is somewhat comforting to find that Fish and Game finally
had the courage to call off the harvest if for no other reason
that they felt the biomass and spawn were insufficient to justify
being on notice for a further period of time.
What we should appreciate is the continuing effort to end the
herring fishery and to perhaps create a climate in which the
resource will be preserved and grow. As is indicated in "A
biography of Alaska's herring: A little fish of huge importance"
By June Allen and as of March 14, 2004:
"Today the herring have become smaller and smaller. According
to marine biologists, Pacific herring up to 18 inches have been
recorded. But the Alaska herring have become smaller and smaller
and now an eight-inch fish is considered "good sized."
No one - biologist, politician or fisherman is venturing a guess
as to the reason for today's smaller fish. In some ways it seems
obvious. Perhaps not."
The real reason should be obvious. Continued fishing with a
failure to re-build stocks to prior levels. Too bad that Fish
and Game chooses to put the herring fishery again at risk by
suggesting that there may be a West Behm fishery in 2005. The
better course is simply to end the fishery until we once again
approach the biomass volume and size that existed prior to the
Ketchikan, AK - USA
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