Herring key food for land-based species: study

Sarah Petrescu / Times Colonist
January 11, 2014
Scientists on Vancouver Island have for the first time linked spawning Pacific herring, a well-known marine food fish, to the health of land creatures big and small.

“We often talk about how salmon subsidize and influence ecosystems by providing food but herring are also one of these species — and we have them in abundance,” said Caroline Fox, the lead researcher on a study released by the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the University of Victoria. After a worrisome decline, herring stocks look to be bouncing back.

While the effects of herring on marine life have been studied, scientists haven’t really looked at what happens in other ecosystems when waves of eggs wash ashore during spawning.

“It is a spectacular natural event,” Fox said, describing a milky wave of fish sperm that fertilize eggs on gravel, beach and kelp beds, with birds flocking to feed…

To read the full article please visit the Times Colonist website.

To celebrate the end of the year, we are so happy to be able to offer matching campaigns on two of our most pressing fundraising initiatives.

All donations to both the Southern Great Bear Rainforest tenure acquisition and our KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest initiative, will be matched until the end of the year. This is a great opportunity for our supporters, like you, to make your impact go twice as far, while benefiting from tax deductions.

Help us secure KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest on S,DÁYES (Pender Island). Together with Pender Islands Conservancy, Raincoast is raising $2.18 million to purchase a 45 acre coastal property on the edge of the Salish Sea.

Safeguarding Coastal Carnivores in the Southern Great Bear Rainforest tenure. We are currently raising funds to stop commercial trophy hunting in more than a quarter of the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia.