UPDATE: 4,700 tons in first opener
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The approximate location of Saturday afternoon's fishery. The first opener of the 2012 commercial Sitka sac roe herring fishery took place from 2:30 p.m. until 5:56 p.m. on Saturday.
The first opening of the 2012 Sitka sac roe herring fishery brought in about 4,700 tons of the small silver fish.
That’s the preliminary harvest estimate, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
The opening happened at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, and closed about three-and-a-half hours later in the northwest portion of Sitka Sound. It included Hayward Strait, Promisla Bay, and parts of Eastern Bay.
The fish harvested Saturday make up about 16 percent of the total harvest. This year’s guideline harvest level, or GHL, is 29,000 tons.
ADF&G also says about 1.4 nautical miles of active spawn was recorded near Middle and Crow islands.
No fishery took place on Sunday. KCAW will update on-air and online as new openings are called.
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Linda Behnken, the Executive Director of the Alaska Longline Fisherman's Association was joined by Tori O'Connell, the Research Director of the Sitka Sound Science Center, to provide an update on SEASWAP (The Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project). As O'Connell explains, the project just secured $311,000 in funding to continue research on a sperm whale avoidance network this fall. The avoidance network will tag whales in the Chatham Strait black cod fishery and give fisherman devices to communicate where the whales are located. Downloadable audio. more