Conservancy Hornby Island (CHI) is going into its sixth annual HerringFest celebration with a sense of hope.
In December 2021, Fisheries Minister Honourable Joyce Murray announced the closure of most Pacific herring fisheries on the West Coast except for harvests by First Nations for food and ceremonial purposes. The Strait of Georgia commercial fishery has been reduced from 20 per cent to 10 per cent of the predicted spawning biomass. Although CHI views this as good news, there is still work to be done to better protect Pacific herring.
Conservancy Hornby Island is inviting the public to be part of this special opportunity to continue building momentum towards ensuring sufficient protection of Pacific herring and to celebrate the ecological spectacle that occurs annually on the Salish Sea known as the herring spawn, with HerringFest 2022. Taking place from March 3-6, HerringFest will feature many opportunities to learn and support the cause.
Sea Life Boat Trips: educational, fun, and the best way to see herds of sea lions, hundreds of seabirds, spawning herring and possibly killer whales and humpback whales. This in-person event runs from March 2-4 and March 6-8 on Hornby Island. Tickets are by donation with a suggested donation of at least $20 per person. Twenty-five per cent of all boat trip donations will go directly towards CHI’s Herring Recovery Program.
Art Show & Sale: In conjunction with Hornby Arts, HerringFest will feature a “Let the Herring Live” themed art show and sale, which will be both in-person at the Hornby Community Hall, as well as online. Viewing begins March 3 until the 6, after which a catalogue of artworks will be available for sale on https://hornbyarts.com Proceeds will be equally split with CHI and the artists. Artists can submit their work by emailing Juniper at email@example.com
Film Night: Tune in on Zoom for Friday Night Film Night, March 4, from 7-9 p.m. Film Night will feature an array of short films and chat with the filmmakers, such as Yáa at wooné/Respect for All Things by Louise Brady and Peter Bradley, Herring Ceremony by Matthew Van Oostdam and students of Aya7ayulh Chet, Dance of the Herring and Why is the Salish Sea So Rich with Life? by Bob Turner, We are the Herring by Sam Rose Phillips, The Price of Fish by Mike Bhana, introduced by Dr. Evelyn Pinkerton, and Before the Beauty is Gone by Mackai Sharp.
Herring School: The final event of HerringFest 2022 will be Saturday Herring School, an interactive webinar on Zoom from 9:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. on March 6. Herring School will feature an array of guest speakers knowledgeable on research, activism, and conservation including Chief Eric Pelkey of the W̱SÁNEĆ First Nation, Saul ‘Hazil’hba Brown, who is from the Nuu-chah-nulth and Heiltsuk Nations and the founder of Y̓íḷbas Consultancy, Thomas Thornton, author of Herring and People of the North Pacific: Sustaining a Keystone Species, Herring Rabble Rouser Jim Shortreed, Ben Friedman, Head of Product at Wildtype, a producer of lab-grown fish, and Gord Johns, the NDP MP for Courtenay and Alberni. There will be a round table discussion with all speakers, and attendees will be able to interact with the speakers through the Q&A.
Tickets to the sixth annual HerringFest are by donation and can be purchased at conservancyhornbyisland.org/herringfest2022