Commercial herring fishing in Southeast could be getting underway soon.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced Monday it will be putting the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery on two-hour notice at 8 in the morning on Thursday, March 20th. That means the seine fishery could have its first opening on that day, if herring roe quality is high enough.
The guideline harvest level for the purse seine fishery is over 16-thousand tons. The herring are caught for their roe, or eggs, which are sold to markets in Asia.
Fish and Game announced a test sample from herring in Sitka Sound Monday showed fish with immature roe. However a press release from the department noted possible early opportunities for good quality herring and wanted the fishing fleet to be ready.
An organizational meeting with fishermen and processors is planned for Wednesday at 1 p.m. in Sitka’s Westmark Hotel and more test sampling is planned that day.