In the Spawn on Kelp (SOK) fishery, the harvest is not of whole herring, but the eggs which have adhered to blades of kelp after herring have spawned. It is conducted by suspending lines of kelp where herring spawn, and may use either an open or a closed ponding technique.
SOK is a traditional food of BC coastal First Nations, which harvest SOK for food, social, and ceremonial purposes under the authority of communal licences. First Nations have traditionally harvested herring spawn using the open pond method on several types of kelp, eel grass, and tree branches.
The SOK fishery occurs in all of the major stock assessment areas for Pacific Herring except the Strait of Georgia, where there is a lack of suitable kelp.