Herring Here, Herring There

Herring spawn on the central BC coast (Photo: Ian McAllister)

Submitted by Heritage Interpreter Andrea P.

Pacific herring spend the summer months in the offshore waters of British Columbia where their feeding areas are located. In the fall and winter, they migrate to the nearshore waters to prepare for the spring spawning season. The three main herring fisheries that exist in B.C. today are based on this seasonal migration.

Herring are caught for the food and bait industry between November and January when the concentration of fat in their bodies is at its highest.

Soon, from late February to early March, herring in southern B.C. will begin gathering to spawn. Once their eggs mature, these herring are fished specifically for their roe, which is a delicacy in Japan called “kazunoko”.

The third herring fishery is not for the whole fish but for the eggs that stick to blades of kelp after the herring spawn. First Nations people in B.C. have been harvesting spawn on kelp for thousands of years.

Posted by m.horita
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