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Note: Commercial herring fisheries remain closed in the West Coast of Vancouver Island, Central Coast and the Queen Charlotte Islands Stock Assessment Areas
February 10, 2010 to April 30, 2010
The fishery takes place as the herring gather to spawn and the roe has matured to optimum quality during late February to early March in southern B.C., and mid -March to mid-April in northern B.C. A roe herring seine or gill net licence, category HS, FHS, HG, or FH licence is required to participate in the commercial roe herring fishery. Roe herring licence eligibilities are limited entry and party based and the coast-wide total allowable catch is 10,037 short tons. There are 252 Roe Herring Seine licences and 1268 Roe Herring Gill net licences eligibilities.
Consultation is carried out with the appropriate First Nations so herring fisheries are managed to accommodate First Nations food, social and ceremonial requirements. The recreational harvest of herring is regulated via the British Columbia Sports Fishing Regulation, made under the Fisheries Act which is summarized annually in the British Columbia Tidal Waters Sports Fishing Guide.
The Integrated Herring Harvest Planning Committee (IHHPC) was established by the Department to promote a more representative advisory process related to herring harvest planning, management, and postseason review. The goal of the IHHPC is to support the development of fishing plans that are coordinated and integrated, to identify potential conflicts, and to make recommendations for resolving disputes.
Prior to any commercial herring fishery opening, Industry representatives are consulted and Industry test fishing vessels conduct pre-fishery sampling for size and roe maturity to ensure the maximum quality of the fish is harvested.
To ensure conservation and protection of the Pacific herring stocks, precautionary limits are established to ensure that harvest proceeds in a sustainable manner and that sufficient biomass is available to replenish the stocks on an ongoing basis.
The commercial roe herring fisheries are conducted as “pool” fisheries which allow for more precise on grounds management and ability to share catch by gear type within each fishing area.
To ensure full accounting of catch, a dockside monitoring program validates all catches from the fishery by recording all landings and providing a final report documenting all catch by date, gear type and geographic location.