National Fisherman

Beginning in mid-March in Sitka, there is no escaping the excitement surrounding the commercial sac roe herring fishery. Big seiners from around Southeast raft up in the harbors, waiting for the large masses of herring to school up near shore.
But the annual arrival of the herring marks the opening of another important — and just as exciting — season: subsistence. Tuesday morning (3-25-14), Native leaders and Tribal elders gathered to pour water on the Herring Rock in downtown Sitka, to honor the herring, and the renewal that their return symbolizes.
Prayers, in Tlingit
The Herring Rock rests now in front of the Sheetka Kwan Nakahidi, but it used to be down in the Sitka Channel. By long tradition, herring were said to begin their spawn in this location.
Thank you for what we are about to celebrate, The Herring Rock. Given to us by you, and what it signifies: The beginning of our harvest season.
The small crowd gathered to bless the rock acknowledged the efforts of Duck Didrickson, who died over the winter, to relocate the rock to a place of honor. But the rest of the brief ceremony was dedicated to reaffirming the history of Herring Rock, and how it came to be.
We had two herring ladies, playing down by the rock. And they put their hair in the water. And the herring came and spawned on their hair. That’s how they became the Herring Rock Ladies.
Read the full story at KCAW>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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