What happened to our winter Chinook?
Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:25pm

Thomas Sewid‎

What happened to our winter Chinook? I remember years ago going out commercial food herring and while pumping fish aboard we would bring aboard the odd winter Chinook as a welcome addition to our soup pot or frying pan! Not anymore, for gone are the Chinook during the winter anywhere the sea lion hordes have been feasting. So too are our massive spring and early summer fining schools of Coho.

Food herring commercial fishery is taking place and Nanaimo area of Vancouver Island is over run with sea lions! Captains on seine boats reporting sea lions in numbers like they have never seen before! They are even seeing a new smaller juvenile sea lion in mass that was not seen up until this year?

The fisherman cannot even catch the herring now due to the sea lions in such massive numbers they are driving the herring down too deep for the nets. This is also very dangerous, for huge seiners can flip over from a huge school of herring diving while in nets. Sea lions as you are seeing are creating panic for the herring which could well spell disaster for a herring seine boat and crew?

If the herring cannot get to the surface waters at night they cannot access their food source of plankton? I am no scientist, but correct me if I am wrong, any critter not being able to access their food usually means they are in a weakened state, thus easier for predators to catch. Yes, this sea lion over population and the negative spin offs are a natural disaster of the likes we have never seen before.

The Federal Department of Fisheries & Oceans Canada has managed the Gulf of Georgia herring stocks okay, for the biomass of pelagic herring returning to spawn each year is great. The indicators out there show that this foundation of the food chain is being gobbled up by the out of control populations of pinnipeds and D.F.O. needs to manage this disaster a.s.a.p.!

Consumption number for Stellar Sea lions per Chasco

Females with an average weight of 1000lbs consume 40lbs./day

Males with an average weight of 1800lbs. Consume 70lbs/day

Use an average (male + female) of 55lbs./day x 40,000 = 2,200,000lbs/day x 30 days =66,000,000lbs of finfish/mo!!!

I think it would be fair to say that this is totally out of control and is a disaster in the making of the likes never witnessed before in our waters.

Sources: Chasco et all Pacific Salmon Foundation

Please refrain from anti herring fishing comments, for Pacific Balance Pinniped Society is all about unity of all wanting to see a pinniped harvest expanded throughout our B.C. coast. Stupid hate filled anti herring fishery comments gets one automatically blocked. Time for all to grow up and quit playing the childish blame game.

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