In North America, Pacific herring range from Baja California, Mexico, to the Bering Sea and northeast to the Beaufort Sea. Pacific herring support a number of commercial fisheries for the USA and Canada. These include sac roe fisheries, food/bait fisheries, and niche herring-roe-on-kelp fisheries.
The majority of U.S Pacific herring landings occur in Alaska, mainly in the highly valuable sac roe fishery. Other Alaska fisheries supply herring for bait and human consumption.
Along the Pacific Coast, several niche fisheries exist for Pacific herring. In Washington, herring are harvested by seine for recreational fishing bait. California fisheries include sac roe, whole herring, and a niche herring-eggs-on-kelp fishery in which giant kelp is suspended from rafts on which herring spawn.
In Canada, commercial roe herring fisheries are located in 5 major geographic areas; Prince Rupert District, Central Coast, Haida Gwaii, West Coast of Vancouver Island, and Strait of Georgia. Canada’s Pacific herring fishery is managed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.