The F/V Sitkinak rolled over during the sac roe herring opening day in Sitka, Alaska, on Saturday, March 27.

The seiner was reportedly offloading a 100-plus-ton set to the tender Morning Star in Hayward Strait. Conflicting reports from the grounds have yet to determine what caused the vessel to roll over onto the tender.

The Nicholas Michael provided flotation assistance, and the Sitkinak eventually was righted and reportedly towed to the dock at Silver Bay Seafoods’ processing facility at the Sawmill Cove Industrial Park in Sitka.

The full extent of damages is unknown.

This is the first Sitka sac roe herring opening in two years after it was stalled by small fish and a weak market. The 2019 harvest was very limited.

The Sitka seine fleet has a harvest quota of 33,304 tons (nearly 67 million pounds), but managers predicted low participation and limited processing capacity.

[This story has been updated to correct the status of the damages. We will continue to update as we learn more.]

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 15 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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