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October 07, 2009


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Herring stocks are often not high on the research priority list because of the politics of other fisheries. In Canada, salmon farms kill juvenile herring, and in Alaska, pollock trawlers destroy thousands of tons of herring. In Western Alaska the number of active herring gillnet permits has dropped from 252 to 51. (This is in the same area where the king salmon are disappearing from accidental trawl bycatch, although NMFS won't officially make the connection.)
The point I wanted to make is that maybe it's time to develop an artificial bait that doesn't disintegrate in pots as fast as herring. Berkeley Power Bait is super for bottom fish, don't know if it works for lobster. But WD-40 is dynamite for tanner crab and I've heard the secret ingredient in WD-40 is herring oil. Put it in a gel like Berkeley did and save the herring stocks. What would be wrong with researching a pheromone that lobster love.(Literally, there are love pheromones and feeding pheromones for fish, take your pick.) Then lobster fishing would be an example to the world of true sustainable harvest. And especially a model for all the non-selective fisheries, if not to follow, at least to talk about until stock collapse has occurred.

R S Pierrepont

Herring and other bait fish at the bottom of the food chain are in danger of collapse on both coasts. At some point we need to use other sources for bait, fish meal and other low value uses of a significant base of the ocean's food chain. As always there are too many fighting for a limited resource and no one is willing to compromise, not the fish, seals, whales or man. In the end a collapse in this fishery will destroy all those that depend on it, so all need to contribute to its preservation. There is only one bio mass that can vary its way it uses Herring, and that is the human population. Of that group, only one sector can control that use and they are the politicians. Is there any way to motivate a politician to protect the fishery? If someone knows, please let us all work together ( lobstermen, commercial fishermen, recreational anglers, farmers) to convince them to save this link in the food chain for all.

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