Two more buyers entered the Kodiak
herring market this season to boost participation though low prices have kept
many herring fishermen out of the water. One fisherman reports that one
processor is paying $175 a ton compared to $425 last year.
At its peak
there were four processors buying herring. Now Trident and Ocean Beauty, both
of which entered the game late, are the two remaining buyers.
Game assistant area management biologist Geoff Spalinger says about half of the
allowed catch has been taken so far.
-- herring 1 :11 "For
the entire Kodiak ... have been harvested."
At its peak
late last month, about a dozen seiners were active in the Kodiak fishery. But both
Western Alaska Fisheries and Alaska Pacific Seafoods have stopped buying and
some vessels are transiting to other areas of the state.
are about eight seiners left and Spalinger says the season is coming to a close.
-- herring 2 :34 "They're
winding down ... weeks, I think."
from Ocean Beauty and Trident didn't return phone calls, but Spalinger characterized
the quality of the herring as inconsistent and marginal overall.
-- herring 3 :05 "It's
been up and down ... see in others."
is harvested for its sac roe which is exported to Japan as a delicacy. There had been
fears that this spring's earthquake and tsunami would harm markets and the
current low prices suggest this could be one after effect of the devastation.
ex-vessel value topped $2.2 million but will almost certainly be much less this