2024 Togiak herring forecast is 5th largest since 1993

ADF&G said last year that they "do not expect this will change" regarding lack of herring buying interest by processors at Togiak.

by | December 21, 2023

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AK’s largest herring fishery was cancelled in 2023 due to no buying interest

Alaska’s largest herring fishery at Togiak in Bristol Bay, which typically kicks off in early May, was cancelled in 2023 due to a lack of buying interest.

State fishery managers made the announcement on March 20 in a release that stated: “Processors have indicated that they do not intend to harvest herring in Togiak in 2023 and there will be no commercial fishery. The department does not expect this will change.”

The Togiak fishery, which targets female herring for their roe, had a projected harvest in 2023 of 57,419 tons (nearly 115 million pounds).////

The ADF&G announcement added:

This year’s forecast is based on a median of aerial survey biomass estimates from the last 10 years (2014–2023) that received a confidence rating greater than 0.25. Due to the lack of a fishery in 2023 there was no age, sex, and length data with which to run the standard statistical catch-at-age (SCAA) model. The traditional assessment model used to forecast the Togiak herring population in previous years utilizes time series of catch, age composition of the purse seine and gillnet harvest, age composition of the mature population, and aerial survey biomass estimates plus catch data from 1980 forward. Herring samples in the assessment are fishery-dependent and with no fishery conducted in 2023, there were no samples with which to estimate the age, length, and weight compositions of the stock. Should the herring fishery occur in 2024, the SCAA model will
be utilized for future forecasts.

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About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.

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