The total herring harvest for 1990 is projected to be about 37,449 tons from sac roe and food/bait fisheries, a decrease from the total 1989 harvest of 48,929 tons. Stock levels are projected to be lower in many areas with substantial reductions at Togiak Bay, Kamishak Bay, Sitka Sound, and Kah Shakes. The 1989 harvest had an estimated ex-vessel value of $18,776,473, a substantial decline from ... [Show full abstract] prior years because of the much reduced ex-vessel prices offered during the 1989 sac-roe season and the oil spill closures in Prince William Sound. Herring sac roe fisheries are projected to harvest 30,775 tons in 1990, down from the 1989 harvest of 41,387 tons. Herring food and bait fisheries are projected to harvest 6,674 tons in 1990, down from the 1989 harvest of 7,542 tons. The 408 ton projected 1990 herring spawn-on-kelp harvest is up from the 280 ton 1989 harvest, largely because spawn-on-kelp product was not harvested in Prince William Sound as a result of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The Hoonah Sound pound fishery in Southeast Alaska will be open during 1990 for the first time with an 11 ton guideline harvest level for sac roe product. The strong 1984 year class will return as age 6 in 1989 and is expected to be a major component of the 1990 herring stocks in most areas of the Gulf of Alaska. The 1984 year class is not as strong in Bering Sea areas and is noticeably absent from the Togiak stock of Bristol Bay. No substantial recruitment has been observed in recent years to the important Togiak herring stock. The abundance of the Togiak stock is projected to decline rapidly as the previously strong 1977 and 1978 year classes are approaching senescence.
KEY WORDS: Herring, Clupea harengus pallasi, herring harvest projection, herring stock assessment, herring sac roe fishery, herring food and bait fishery, herring spawn-on-kelp.