Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus)


Herring is the most abundant fish in the North Atlantic. It is a multi spawner unlike capelin and spawns in shallow water. There are two separate stocks in Iceland. The Atlanto-Scandian stock spawns in Norwegian waters then the larvae get swept with the currents to Northern Norway, Barents Sea and Russia to the nursing grounds. They stay here till they are around 4-6 years of age and then undergo long migrations to the feeding grounds North and East coast of Iceland in the winter. In the spring they migrate back towards Norway. The Icelandic stock never leaves Icelandic waters and spawns in July. These stocks used to mix in the past but now they generally have two separate distribution patterns. There used to be a third stock that undergoes the same migrations as the Atlanto-Scandian stock but this stock stayed in Iceland to spawn however, this stock is thought to be extinct now around Iceland.

Average length from catches: 30-40 cm
Age reaching sexual maturity: 4-6 years
Average life span: Max age is ~ 25 years
Spawning Season: Spring-Summer
Habitat: Pelagic
Diet: Zooplankton
IUCN world status: Least Concern
Threats: Climate change, over fishing
Other Names: Síld, Slid, Hering, Hareng, Arenque de Atlántico, Arenque-do-Atlântico, Sel'd', / Atlanttsjeskij sel'd'