Clupea Harengus

Clupeidae

Clupeiformes

Offshore, Nearshore

1 - 2 pounds

8" - 18"

Atlantic Herring

Also Known As: Melker, Milker Herring, Norwegian Milker, Oriental Cure, Pickling, Sea Herring, Sild  

Atlantic Herring (Clupea harengus) Fish Description

As one of the most abundant fish in the world, the Atlantic Herring (Clupea harengus) is a popular fishing target for commercial fishers found in its namesake. It is also one of the most recognizable foodfish as it’s been widely sold fresh, canned, smoked, or pickled in markets for centuries. The Atlantic Herring played an important role in the economy of several coastal states in the US, particularly in the region of New England.

The Atlantic Herring is a small fish with a body that is mostly silver in color, except for the bluish or greenish top part. Its body is kind of shaped like a torpedo—long, streamlined, and tapers on the head and the tail. It has a round belly and the caudal fin or tail is deeply forked. Its scales are rather big for their small size, making each scale quite visible.

The spawning season usually starts in the late summer and early fall, often near our Atlantic coastlines—particularly in the Gulf of Maine. This is the time when they collect by the millions or sometimes by the billions, occupying vast parts of the water. They fertilize their eggs externally, which means that both the males and the females would simultaneously release their sperm and eggs onto the ocean bottom. Then the fertilized eggs would hatch into larvae in about seven to ten days. By springtime, the larvae would have reached their juvenile stage in which they would start schooling together. 

The Atlantic Herring is a carnivore. Their diet mainly consists of zooplankton, krill, as well as other fish’s eggs and larvae. They are also known to be filter feeders by which they would just swim with their mouth wide open until they consume their food. They are, unfortunately, a target for a lot of the predators in the sea, including tunas, salmons, sharks, dolphins, killer whales, seals, sea lions, and different kinds of sea birds.

 

Atlantic Herring Interesting Facts

  • The Atlantic Herring