Herring

FullSizeRender-3Ah, the herring. Now here is a species that, unlike the vendace/powan/gwnyiad/schelly, can be discussed succinctly and without any confusion…

…unless of course, one forgets to consider the Pacific and Araucanian herrings or the (rather large) freshwater family Clupeidae, or various other fish around the world, that are known as ‘herring’. So, before the madness returns, Fishpool is now giving the nod to the Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus), and no-one best mention the Baltic subspecies…

Few fish have intertwined themselves quite so deeply with the sociological development of Man as the Atlantic herring. It does not grow large – a fish weighing two pounds is unusual – but what it lacks in size it makes up for in phenomenal number. Shoals of herring in the North Atlantic have been estimated to number as many as 4 billion individuals, filling a volume of water nudging 1 cubic mile. Such proliferation, coupled with a tendency to move inshore in search of the zooplankton upon which they feed, has made them a major target for commercial fishermen. In fact, while towns and societies have existed purely for the capture and processing of these fish.

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