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Herring Time 2019


Two years ago to the day I did a post about the herring fishery. If you are interested you can find it here. https://wordsfromanneli.com/2017/03/08/herring-time/

At that time a fisherman lost his life working in this dangerous job.

However, the fishery goes on. The pressure is on the fishermen to set their nets and catch what they can in the short time allowed.

As seiners from all along the coast of BC gather to await the herring opening, the wharf at Comox, on Vancouver Island, is congested at this time of year. You can see the seiners in the center of the photo above in the government fish wharf, and the toothpick-like masts of the sailboats on the far right, tucked away in their private marina.

How do these boats not get tangled!?

At one time the herring fishery was lucrative, but see, below, the problem facing the herring fishermen now.

These are a few of the sea lions left after a herring season three years ago. Since then the number of sea lions has exploded to the point where the fishermen lose nets repeatedly from dozens of these giants tearing through them to get at the herring in the seine nets.

Every animal needs to eat, but the fishermen are now finding it difficult to make a living when all they seem to do is feed sea lions and pay for very expensive nets. The staggering number of sea lions that have moved in to take up permanent residence on the coast of Vancouver Island has become an overwhelming problem for the fishermen.

Solutions are hard find, as the remedies are all controversial.

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

36 thoughts on “Herring Time 2019

  1. Thanks for that interesting insight, Anneli. πŸ™‚


  2. Is the Captain out there?


  3. Difficult times for fishermen and sea lions.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know how those boats don’t get tangled too. I wonder if the warming oceans are driving sea lions north? I have no idea, but things like that worry me. Climate change is going to change everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think they got a taste of plenty of food in a welcoming environment (maybe warmer water, I don’t know) and they are now staying all winter rather than bothering to go home to California. They used to only be up here at herring time and into the summer. Now they are year-round residents.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I know about the difficulties with the sea lions. There are no easy answers and the only one I’ve thought of is relocation, but I don’t know enough about this to know if that even makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trouble is that most of these sea lions have moved up here from farther down the coast. They have relocated themselves to a better place and I think it’s going to be a case of “the cat came back” if they are relocated to their California origins.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “Solutions are hard find, as the remedies are all controversial.” So true, Anneli. Thank you for bringing attention to this matter. I feel for the fishermen…it’s their livelihood.


    • Yes, it’s their livelihood and what many people don’t think about is that if they want to eat fish, they have to support their fishermen. Just like farming – we need the grain, and of course the farmers shouldn’t work for nothing to provide it for us.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a shame, and not an easy problem to fix. I feel for those fishermen.


  8. Very interesting! I feel sorry for both, fisherman and sea lions.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes, a real dilemma. But the photos with the boats are busy!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The image of the boats really does look like tangled toothpicks. What has caused the sea lion population to explode? This must be a very controversial issue. Lovely photos, Anneli.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your posts offer such an education, Anneli. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Seeing those sea lions gives me the willies. It’s never good to see the balance of nature upset. Seems they should be culled. Harsh, but true!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a mess those seiners! Sad for the fishermen. It must break their hearts to see the sea lions in wait.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. That sounds like quite the dilemma!

    Liked by 1 person

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