Pacific Herring are an icon of BC’s past and present, and a sacred cornerstone in the culture of our First Nations. Historically in the Squamish Nations Traditional Lands and Territories herring populations were abundant and thriving. When herring come back to spawn, it is considered to be a “pulse of biomass” that nourishes coastal waters, communities and the land. Herring serve as an intermediary between lower trophic levels in the food chain such as plankton, and in higher trophic levels they are a food source for endangered Chinook Salmon, Sea Birds, Seals, Humpback Whales, Wolves, and Bears to name a few.
These fish play a huge ecological role in marine ecosystems and interface with terrestrial ecosystems as well. Over the last century herring have been subject to intense habitat degradation and exploitive commercial fishing practices. The Squamish Streamkeeper’s took notice and have a number of projects and collaborations underway to help conserve herring in False Creek, Vancouver and Squamish.
In 2021 we will have a new project underway in partnership with DFO and Seacology where we will transport eggs to Coal Harbour where natural eelgrass beds are present.