Posted by: Bob Payne | September 4, 2011

Summit to save BC herring draws First Nations, other experts

Harvey Kitka regularly tows hemlock saplings, three metres long, behind his boat. Sometimes the trees are older and five times that size. A member of the Tlingit tribe in Sitka, Alaska — the aboriginal people make up about half the town’s population of 8,500 — Kitka is doing something the Tlingit have done for at least 300 years, transplanting herring roe. Herring spawn cling to the trees Kitka tows to areas without herring. It’s a traditional way to cultivate the roe, a food source so fatty a hungry black bear emerging from its winter den will seek it out. If the bear emerges too late for the roe, it will vacuum piles of sand fleas that have fed on the spawn. Herring were a respite from winter rations for coastal indigenous people for at least 8,200 years. Before potato chips, it was dried roe that provided people with a crunchy, salty snack.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: