First Nations are fighting hard to prevent the reopening of herring roe fisheries to large-scale commercial harvesting. Two succeeded and one lost its court bid.
The video below from the David Suzuki Foundation explains what is so important about these silvery fish that nourish millions of creatures with their eggs and their bodies. They not only feed legions of birds, sea mammals and other fish but also are an economic and cultural mainstay. It is vitally important to ensure that their numbers stay robust, the Suzuki foundation says.
The fish’s spawning activity hugs the coastline, according to the Suzuki foundation, even turning the water white with sperm for miles. While some may consider this TMI, for others it’s the spring prom of the sea.
“It’s pretty much the ecological event of the year,” says Scott Wallace, sustainable-fisheries analyst at the David Suzuki Foundation, of the annual spring herring spawn. “Balancing these different ecological, cultural and economic values is something that we need to work on to make sure that we have herring into the future.”