Pacific Herring: The Fish that Feeds the Coast

  • Water cloudy with milt from spawning herring
  • Seagulls catching herring in the bay
  • Herring roe on kelp

Blog and photos submitted by Shannon King, Manager of Audience Engagement

Two years ago, we installed an exhibit at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site called Pacific Herring: The Fish that Feeds the Coast. Featured in the exhibit is a spectacularly beautiful short film, Beauty and the Feast, produced by the Hakai Institute about the importance of the herring spawn to the BC Coast. It is 5 minutes of your life that will likely result in a surge of hope for the planet. It does for me anyway.

This past week, I got that feeling again when I had the incredible opportunity to witness Pacific herring spawn in Craig Bay, near Parksville. With the herring came the sea lions, eagles, and hundreds of gulls animating the skies and the waters of the bay. When the tide went out, the eggs were visible on every surface. The impressive array of activity in this small bay was truly inspiring and a timely reminder of the resilience of life on the planet.

The Cannery’s Manager of Audience Engagement Shannon King has also shared this video of the herring spawning just steps away from where she is currently working remotely on Vancouver Island (bonus video of seagulls feasting on the herring spawn as the sun sets). 

Posted by m.horita
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