Norway spring spawning herring
Last Updated: 5 August 2014
Certified as sustainable on the 30 April 2009, and re-certified on the 3 July 2014.
Species: Herring (clupea harengus)
Location: North East Atlantic, EEZ’s of Norway, Russia, Iceland, EU and Faroe Islands. Jan Mayen Fisheries Zone and Svalbard Fisheries Protection Zone, International waters
Fishing methods: Purse-seine and pelagic trawl
Vessels: According to Norges Sildesalgslag, 113 seine vessels, 40 pelagic trawlers and 245 coastal purse seine vessels fished for
Norwegian spring spawning herring in 2007.
Number of fisheries: 1
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More about herring
This pelagic species is distributed widely throughout the North Sea. The herring’s unique habit is that it produces eggs which are attached to a gravelly matter on the seabed. This points to an evolutionary history in which herring spawned in rivers and at some later date re-adapted to the marine environment. The spawning grounds in the southern North Sea are the beds of rivers which existed in geological times and some groups of spring spawning herring still spawn in very shallow inshore waters and estuaries. Herring are mainly plankton feeders although they do eat some small fish.
More about the fishing methods
On average about 57% of the Norwegian spring spawning herring catch originated from purse seiners, 12% from pelagic trawlers, and 31% from coastal purse seiners.
Both small coastal vessels and larger offshore vessels operate purse seine gears. Industrial purse seine vessels are larger than 36m, with coastal purse seiners being smaller than 33m in length.
Pelagic trawl vessels operate offshore. These vessels are currently between 24 and 68m in length.
Most of the Norwegian Spring Spawning Herring (Clupea harengus) landed is for human consumption. In 2006, less than 10% of the Norwegian landings were processed for meal and oil. The herring landed by the Norwegian fleet is almost exclusively exported, mainly frozen. The main markets for Norwegian Spring Spawning Herring is currently the eastern Europe and the EU.