Aleutian Herring Fishery Kicks Off Near Akutan

Thursday, July 17 2014

Courtesy of ADF&G

The Aleutian Islands herring fishery is off to a slow start.

Nathaniel Nichols is a biologist monitoring the harvest for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. In a good year, he says, the entire 1,805-ton allocation can be taken in three days.

The season officially opened on Tuesday.

"So far, I think we’ve got around 500 tons already caught," Nichols says. "So we’re chugging along."

Three purse seiners have been working have been working near North Head, on the northern side of Akutan Island. Just like last year, Westward, Trident, and Peter Pan Seafoods each sent a vessel.

Nichols says he’s been getting reports of foggy weather in the Aleutians.

"So that’s hampering spotter pilots," he says.

Besides the purse seine fleet, there’s two-hundred and ninety-four pounds of herring set aside for gillnetters to catch.

Fish & Game isn’t aware of any interested gillnet vessels. Their unused herring allocation will roll over to the seiners on July 25.

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