Fisheries and Oceans Canada released it's 2021 Pacific Herring Integrated Fisheries Management Plan Feb. 19. (File photo)

Northern herring opportunities kept to a minimum

2021 management plan caps Prince Rupert fishery at 5 per cent

DFO released its 2021 Pacific Herring Integrated Fisheries Management Plan Feb. 19, indicating opportunities will remain minimal on the north and central coast this year.

The release finalizes a draft plan from the fall after 30 days of public consultations.

The commercial harvest this year is again closed on Haida Gwaii. Even in the absence of fishing, the biomass is forecasted to be 14 per cent below conservation targets. A rebuilding plan is being developed with draft consultations expected early this year.

As with Haida Gwaii, the West Coast of Vancouver Island is also closed to commercial harvest.

READ MORE: B.C. anglers plead with Ottawa for more salmon openings

“We’ve had closures in those areas for a number of years,” Neil Davis, DFO director of resource management said during a teleconference with press. “The conservation of stocks is really job one for us.”

In the Prince Rupert District, First Nations fisheries and commercial spawn on kelp opportunities are being held to 1,003 tonnes, or five per cent. The stock’s biomass and growth has remained steady, but low since 2005.

On the Central Coast, First Nations and commercial spawn on kelp opportunities are also being kept at five per cent of the harvest rate, or 1,865 tonnes. The stock has shown a steady increase in spawning biomass since a low in the late 2000s.

In the south, DFO faced mounting pressure from conservation groups to close Strait of Georgia commercial fishery, or restrict the harvests to a maximum of 10 per cent.

READ MORE: Quota debate heats up on the eve of Vancouver Island herring fishery

Many view this as the last large herring population in the Pacific region, but DFO kept the harvest rate at the same level as last year, 20 per cent.

A 2019 Fisheries and Oceans analysis of herring in the Straight of Georgia notes a reduction from 20 per cent to 10 per cent is the best means of mitigating any stock assessment errors.

However herring spawn in 2020 was one of the largest in decades for the strait, even though DFO had forecast a decline. It was also a strong year with herring showing up in more areas and a large number of juveniles recruited into the spawning population.

Recreational harvest of herring may occur coast wide, year-round. The daily maximum sport limit for herring is 20 kg, with a two-day possession limit of 40 kg.



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca

– with files from Mike Chouinard

Just Posted

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation planning ground analysis of land near former residential school

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Free boxes of fresh produce are currently being provided in Quesnel by the Canadian Mental Health Association of Northern BC thanks to a donation from West Fraser Mills. (File photo)
Fresh produce available for those in need in Quesnel

Donation allows Canadian Mental Health Association to provide free fruits and veggies

Elizabeth Pete is a survivor of St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
WATCH: Kamloops bound convoy greeted by Canim Lake Band along Highway 97

Well over two dozen members of the Tsq’escenemc people (Canim Lake Band) showed up

Five rehabilitated grizzly bears were released this month into the Bella Coola area. The Northern Lights Wildlife Society will also be delivering 36 black bears to areas across the province where they were previously found. “They’re ready to go and they’re already trying to get out,” says Angelika Langen. “We feel good when we can make that possible and they don’t have to stay behind fences for the rest of their lives.” (Northern Lights Wildlife Society Facebook photo)
t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

The rainbow flag flies beside the Canadian flag outside the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack campus on June 26, 2020. Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, and also June is Pride Month. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Most Read