Second herring opener at 2 PM today
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These are the boundaries of today’s opening in the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery. (Image from ADF&G)
The Alaska Department of Fish & Game has scheduled the second Sitka Sound Sac Roe herring opening of the season this afternoon (Thu 3-28-13) at 2 PM. The fishery will take place in the waters north of Crow and Middle Islands. Seiners on Wednesday landed around 21-hundred tons in the season’s first opening.
Department biologist Dave Gordon, who oversees the fishery, reported several samples from the morning’s test fishing — all with mature roe content at 12-percent or more. 10-percent mature roe is the threshold for a fishery.
In sac roe fisheries, herring are caught just prior to spawning. The roe sacs in the females are considered a delicacy in Asian markets.
Around fifty permit holders are competing for a share of this year’s harvest in Sitka, which should top out at just over 11,500 tons. Last year’s catch was worth roughly $8.5 million at the dock.
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Rob Harcourt is a professor of Marine Ecology at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He's in Sitka as a Scientist in Residency Fellow (SIRF) at the Sitka Sound Science Center. Harcourt uses advanced tagging techniques to study ocean animals and their habitat -- everything from jellyfish to blue whales. He'll be speaking tonight (6PM Wed Apr 22, Alaska Raptor Rehabilitation Center, free) on climate change and penquins: "Will Happy Feet feel the heat?" With SSS research director Tory O'Connell.
Downloadable audio. more