Photo: elcarito / unsplash
Two days ago I looked up from eating and out of the window. There was a strange cloud above the water. I grabbed my binoculars and held my breath: Hundreds and hundreds of seagulls and among them about forty to fifty eagles. They all were flying over one small area, diving down to the surface, rising up and diving down again.
There was no doubt what was happening there: The first school of herring had arrived!
We had a cold week and the garden is still covered under a foot of snow. Yet the herring are here and this means: Spring arrived.
Millions and millions of these fish gather in a certain area in the Strait of Georgia. Thousands, actually tens of thousands of seabirds are following them. Seals and sea lions are after them. It is spectacular and you will never forget it when you have had the chance to witness it.
Those of you who follow my newsletters remember that I wrote about the herring before. This year it is not one of these uplifting stories. This year it is a request:
The herring needs your help!
The spawning grounds in the Strait of Georgia is the last viable commercial herring fishery on the Canadian West Coast. All other herring fisheries have already been closed because of overfishing. The local stocks here too show clear signs of overfishing. One of them is that the average size of the spawning fish has shrunk in the last decades by several centimeters! Yet the Department of Fisheries and Oceans seem to be more loyal to business interests than to fish and ocean.
About 200 million fish (27,500 tons) will be caught in the next weeks. Only 10% will be used for human consumption. The roe, the eggs of the females, will be exported to Japan. The rest of the fish will be made into pet food, feed for fish farms and fertilizer. This is not a good enough reason to destroy the last still intact herring population of the West Coast! Besides that, it is simply immoral to waste precious life for fertilizer!
Healthy numbers of herring are necessary for a healthy biology on the coast. The killer whales need chinook salmon and the chinook salmon need herring to feed on. Our sympathy for our whales is not enough, they need food to survive and the chinook salmon stocks are dwindling.
You might wonder why I write about the herring as my newsletter usually focuses on healing and spirituality. However, without a healthy environment we cannot be healthy. We are a part of Earth and everything that destroys the foundation of life will have an effect also on our body, on our health.
Please click this link and sign the petition to stop the herring roe fishery!
We must not allow that a catastrophe like the collapse of the cod fishery on the East Coast will repeat itself with the herring on the West Coast!
Thank you for getting involved. Grandmother Earth needs us.
We must stop overfishing and save the only herring system left on the West Coast. NO to pandering to Industry that is selling herring roe to Japan! Save the herring for reproduction to bring back the health of this important species.
Thanks for drawing attention and a call to action on these overfished herring!
So critical for the oceanic web of life including the salmon and orcas, bears,, etc.