Archives for March 2014

Sitka’s Seiners Deliver Big, But at What Price?

March 31 2014

Sitkas Low Hering Prices 2014


This is Fish Radio. I’m Stephanie Mangini. Sitka Herring prices could hurt the haul. More after this…

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As of Friday Sitka’s sac roe herring fishery  had just under 3 thousand tons left to deliver. Seiners have had no problem catching the nice 16,000 ton haul this year. The quick season has been  a good one with good quality fish and excellent roe counts.  The big  problem fishermen are facing is the roe market itself. sitka fishery

Jamie Ross from the F/V Shadow Fax-

“The clear thing is, is it’s a very, very, very poor, if not the poorest market situation I’ve ever seen,  an extremely poor market situation.”

Last year’s big catches… especially Togiak’s, over flooded the Japanese market. With herrings The biggest buyers feel hand tied this season and couldn’t even give processors a recommended advance price for Sitka seiners at the start of the sac roe harvest .

“You know, I’m not willing to come out of this fishery with no price,” he said. “I mean I can’t, I can’t afford that. I think that it’s an incredibly scary situation for all of us. And the processors are a really tough So we’re trying to come up with some ideas that maybe we could help reduce the processors’ risk.”

“ Right now the market is definitely scary. Because nobody wants to talk about it. None of the processors want to talk about it, and it has all of us on edge. That’s for sure.”



Permit holders have feared the weakening of the herring market for quite some time. What once was one of the biggest grossing fishery at $1,700 dollars per ton back in 1996 has steadily dwindled in price. Last year fishermen at Sitka ended up at $600 per ton. Rumor on the docks has this years roe herring price at a mere 150 a ton.



“What a lot of us are hoping is that right now with japan not buying as much fish, or with the weaker prices is that we can open up some new markets. Kind of how pink salmon did. When it was eight cents a pound for pink salmon. Maybe   what’s right now is kind of a tough time to get through for herring prices that might be the good thing to come out of it. Some new markets so that we aren’t dependent on a 100% Japanese market in the future.”

Sitka Seiners should be wrapped up as of the weekend. Next up is Kodiak herring followed by Alaskas largest herring fishery at Togiak. Thanks to the assist of  Kcaw radio Sitka.

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Sitka herring slump has seiners ‘perplexing to come adult’ in best article ever!

Herring fishing at Sitka Sound

Herring fishing at Sitka Sound

 From Alaska News Feed, 3/27/14


 Sitka’s remunerative herring fishery goes on two-hour notice as of 8 a.m. Thursday (3-20-14). That means fishing could start as shortly as Thursday morning, depending on either exam samples taken by a Alaska Department of Fish Game find a high adequate commission of mature roe, or eggs, in a fish.

But some fishermen are apprehensive.

 Listen to iFriendly audio here.

Seiners contend this year’s quota, during over 16,000 tons, is high. The peculiarity of a fish, in exam samples, is good. What worries them is a market.

“The transparent thing is, is it’s a very, very, unequivocally poor, if not a lowest marketplace conditions I’ve ever seen,” pronounced Jamie Ross, of Homer, who has been fishing herring in Sitka given 1993. ”It’s an intensely bad marketplace situation.”

By a a time a fishery is about to open, Ross said, a swift customarily has an allege cost from processors. In new years, that’s been about $400 to $500 per ton. That cost is afterwards infrequently practiced adult — final year, fishermen finished with a final cost around $600 per ton. In 1996, seiners saw their top cost ever, during over $1700 per ton.

But this year, Ross said, fishermen haven’t perceived any allege price. And that has him worried.

“You know, I’m not peaceful to come out of this fishery with no price,” he said. “I meant we can’t, we can’t means that. we consider that it’s an impossibly frightful conditions for all of us. And a processors are a unequivocally tough position…So we have to pierce brazen while these fish are ripening up, that could be tomorrow, and we know, oh my gosh, what do we do? So we’re perplexing to come adult with some ideas that maybe we could assistance revoke a processors’ risk.”

At a assembly among permit-holders on Wednesday afternoon, one of a ideas discussed was to fish as a mild – an surprising step for a famously rival herring fishery. That, however, would need a appearance of all of a fishery’s 48 seiners. As of Wednesday night, it wasn’t transparent either that would be probable — or even necessary

 Processors, for instance, pronounced they were not as concerned. KCAW spoke with one processor who pronounced a conditions this year is not atypical, yet markets in Asia, where a weal roe is sold, are weak, and there is an oversupply of product left over from final year. That’s due in partial to a vast Togiak herring harvest: in 2013, fishermen in Togiak, Alaska hauled in scarcely 29,000 tons of herring.

Meanwhile, a Department of Fish Game announced that an aerial consult of Sitka Sound conducted Wednesday located a organisation of 180 sea lions in a closeness of Bielei Rocks, north of Middle Island.

A Fish Game news recover says that a vast biomass of herring is in a same area.

The department’s investigate vessel Kestrel also identified a series of smaller schools of herring from Starrigavan Bay to Dog Point.

Test samples of herring held in a area showed a  roe commission of 9.7 percent. The dialect looks for 10-percent mature roe before opening a seine fishery.

Starting Thursday (3-20-14) a Department of Fish Game will emanate informational updates over a radio during 11 AM and 4 PM, yet they might start during any time as necessary. Those updates can be listened on VHF radio, on Channel 10.