By Lawrence "Snapper" Carson
November 23, 2010
The Alaska Dept. of Commercial Fisheries has decided it is time to fish herring for sacroe in the spring of 2011 in Behm Canal. This is a dormant mandated fishery. It is scheduled to happen when the herring population has reached a threshold population established by the Alaska Department of Commercial Fisheries.
This science is flawed because it is predicated by the amount of spawn deposition and not the amount of large mature adult herring. The other problem is the fishery is based on a herring stock that was considered to be at a historic level, but actually was founded on a decimated herring population.The Dept. of Com. Fish does not take into account the amount of herring that marine mammals take out of the ecosystem. Many residents have watched as late as this fall whales taking herring in downtown Ketchikan. Last fall the feeding frenzy in Clover Pass was enjoyed by many.This harvest is unrecorded as a biomass removal by the Dept. of Com. Fish and not considered significant enough to effect the commercial fishing quota.
It is hard to believe that once this population has reached what the Dept. of Com. Fish considers sufficient to allow a gillnet harvest that we do so and perhaps add to a collapse of this herring population The sheer economicsof the expanded sport and charter fishery in Behm Canal and the added salmon enhancement at Neets Bay should bring us to acknowledge that this is an unessary and nonacceptable fishery.
The positive side to the proposed fishery is that Tongass Narrows and Clover Pass will remain closed. This is a resource that should be important to everyone who lives and enjoys this areas diverse fishing oppurtunities. I only can wish that other see this as a fishery that is untimely and not necessary. We are dealing with a fish that is so important in the food chain. If the State of Alaska were to manage herring from a biological standpoint alone, it would be easy to manage, there would be no commercial herring sacroe fishing .
Lawrence "Snapper" Carson
About: "68 year old Alaska resident "
Received November 18, 2010 - Published November 23, 2010
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