Herring Fishery

SIPS Covered in Times Colonist

Image credit Ian McAllister and Pacific Wild Alliance / Times Colonist

As previously covered on our website SIPS is calling for a moratorium on herring fishery in the Strait of Georgia. Vice President of SIPS Michael Simmons and Jim Shortreed conversation with Times Colonist Reporter Andrew Duffy is shared here. Please take a moment to read developments in this story.

Jim Shortreed followed up with a letter posted here.

Herring Solution Starts in the North

At one time this was Lekwungen, the place to smoke herring. That’s because the Gorge Waters supported tens of thousands of tonnes of herring.

Rich eelgrass and strong tidal currents made a perfect spawning ground for herring and the rich Constance Bank fed them. Alas the herring are now gone. To everyone’s loss.

It’s not for want of clean eelgrass and water. Many volunteers have donated time and money, picking garbage, stopping pollution, repairing beaches, planting estuaries, fixing watersheds and now the Gorge Waters are clean and the eelgrass healthy.

“What do we have to do to get your herring to spawn in the Gorge?”

The only known way is to let the herring north of Nanaimo get very productive so they spread into the Lantzville spawning grounds, then Nanaimo, then Saanich Inlet and finally, the Gorge.

I was very happy to hear the Saanich Inlet Protection Society ask for a pause in the commercial herring fisheries until stocks recover south of Nanaimo.

Jim Shortreed

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