Demand for Togiak herring is way down

Gillnetters took a pass on the 2022 Togiak herring fishery and the eight seine vessels that did participate harvested less than 25% of the 52,086-ton purse seine guideline harvest level, said Tim Sands, area management biologist at Dillingham for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game,

Although plans were in place for gillnet participation during the 2022 season, the effort never materialized, Sands noted in his 2022 Togiak herring season

Preliminary indications were that the price for the purse seine harvest would be between $100 and $150 per ton.

The Togiak purse seine fishery opened on April 27 with harvest beginning that evening. All harvest was confidential due to less than three processors participating in the fishery. Good weather prevailed for most of the season and did not appear to prevent fishing for a significant amount of time. Fishermen ended participation on May 15 and the fishery officially closed on the morning of May 16.

The fishery is managed in accordance with the Bristol Bay Herring Management Plan, which specifies a maximum allowable exploitation rate of 20% and allocates harvestable surplus among all fisheries harvesting Togiak herring stocks. The 2022 preseason biomass forecast was 357,536 tons with an exploitation rate of 20% (71,507 tons). The projected harvest guideline for each fishery was as follows: 1,500 tons of herring equivalent (350,000 lbs. of product) for the spawn- on-kelp fishery, 4,900 tons for the Dutch Harbor food and bait fishery, and the remaining 65,107 tons allocated to the sac roe fishery.

ADF&G thanked Silver Bay Seafoods and OBI Seafoods for providing herring samples from their 2022 commercial harvest.  Sands said the biological data collected in the herring sampling program as well as aerial survey estimates are the basis for sustainable management of these herring stocks.