While the possibility of a herring opener becomes more uncertain, the message remains the same from a local activist group: protect the herring.
Members of the Herring Rock Water Protectors stood in front of the Sitka Courthouse Thursday afternoon, holding signs reading “Enough is enough” and “Sitkans for subsistence.”
17-year old Blake LaPerriere held a sign that read “Salmon need herring.”
He said he had mixed feelings about the likelihood the herring fishery won’t happen this year- and thinks the conversation surrounding the fishery needs to shift.
“It makes me happy. But I do notice that seiners are saying that the reason is because of the small fish. Which is true, we’ve got mostly 3-year-olds with some 4-year-olds tossed in there this year. But the reason is is not being talked about,” LaPerriere said. “The reason we don’t have older fish is that all of the older fish are being taken.”
This isn’t the first time the Herring Rock Water Protectors have organized a public demonstration. Most recently, they held a sit-in at the ADF&G offices, calling for stricter management of the fishery.