Sunday, November 8, 2009

Watching herring purse seiners

Herring purse seiners usually work at night when the herring schools are closer to the surface and easier to encircle but this time of year the herring are sometimes closer to the surface earlier. Such was the case today in Pettes Cove, where three herring purse seiners set their nets. My husband and I went up to the new deck at Swallowtail for a better view than from our deck which also has a view of Pettes Cove. Much to our pleasure six other people were also on the deck enjoying the view, two people were in their vehicle and two people had hiked out to the lighthouse. Even in November, Swallowtail is a major attraction to islanders and tourists alike.

We were also thrilled to have two humpback whales and a minke whale feeding in the cove. At one point the two humpbacks whales were next to one of the purse seiners before both moving more inshore.

It is great to see our work being appreciated, although there was a wish for a bench, which is on the list for next year's projects.
Here is a photo of two of the purse seiners and an arrow where the humpback surfaced. The two small boats or tow boats, help set the purse seine and also tow the larger vessel away from the net and therefore keeps it from collapsing on itself. The herring is used for many things including canning (sardines), farmed salmon food and lobster bait.

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