Herring

Clupea harengus

Herring by Marc Dando

Image | Illustration Marc Dando copywrite Seafish

Description

Oily silver fish high in omega 3 oil. Herring can grilled, smoked (kippers) or baked and is very good for you!


Sustainability Overview

Herring is rarely targetted by Cornish boats. The latest scientific data (october 2017) suggests that herring stocks in our area are currently below healthy levels and are being over fished (though this is being carried out by boats from outside Cornwall).  Herring landed to cornwall are caught by gill netters, driftnetters and by ring netting, these methods have no or little impact on the seabed and are currently managed at an appropriate level. In the Celtic sea the majority of the catch is made by the Irish fishing fleet who are operating under a long term management plan since 2011 and a rebuilding plan has been in place since 2009. 

Updated October 2017

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When is best to eat?

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Drift Netting

Cornish vessels landing to Cornish ports

Drift nets are similar to gill nets but they are not fixed to the seabed and are hung in mid water to create a wall of net aimed to catch mid water fish species.

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Ring Netting

Cornish Vessels landing to Cornish ports

Ring nets are encircling nets used to catch midwater fish such as sardine, and anchovy. They are set around a shoal and a drawstring rope on the bottom of the net is pulled so the fish can’t escape. The net is drawn in and then the fish are scooped out of the net with a pan net.

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How we rate fish

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Cornwall Good Seafood Guide rates fish on sustainability using a scale of 1 to 5.

1, 2 and 3 are recommended, Fish to avoid are rated 5.

We use the system devised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) so our scores are comparable with the scores produced by MCS for the UK and fisheries from all around the world. For more information on scoring click here.

Sustainability Overview

Herring is rarely targetted by Cornish boats. The latest scientific data (october 2017) suggests that herring stocks in our area are currently below healthy levels and are being over fished (though this is being carried out by boats from outside Cornwall).  Herring landed to cornwall are caught by gill netters, driftnetters and by ring netting, these methods have no or little impact on the seabed and are currently managed at an appropriate level. In the Celtic sea the majority of the catch is made by the Irish fishing fleet who are operating under a long term management plan since 2011 and a rebuilding plan has been in place since 2009. 

Updated October 2017

Herring by Marc Dando

Biology

Herring belongs to the same family of fish (clupeids) as sprat and pilchard. It can grow to greater than 40cm, although size differs between 'races' (distinct breeding stocks). Most herring landed are around 25cm. Herring are sexually mature at between 3-9 years (depending on stock) and populations include both spring and autumn spawners. At least one population in UK waters spawns in any one month of the year. Herring have an important role in the marine ecosystem, as a transformer of plankton at the bottom of the food chain to higher trophic or feeding levels, e.g. for cod, seabirds and marine mammals. It is also considered to have a major impact on other fish stocks as prey and predator and is itself prey for seabirds and marine mammals in the North Sea and other areas. Herring spawning and nursery areas are sensitive and vulnerable to human influences such as sand and gravel extraction.

Stock Info

The herring stock in this region has flucutated widely and is currently below MSY level. Fishing mortality on this stock was high for many years and is above sustainable levels (MSY). ICES advises that catches in 2015 should be no more than 5445 tonnes
Herring have not traditionally been targeted by Cornish vessels but as a part of the catch of pelagic drifters and ring netters the landings fluctuate and in 2015 only 200 tonnes were landed to Cornish ports. MMO Data. 
 

Management

Minimum landing size for Herring in Cornish waters is 20cm (CIFCA). 
Herring landings are managed at EU level by a Total allowable catch (Quota). Herring spawn on sandy gravelly sea beds in distinct areas. More research is needed to find if there are suitable spawning grounds around SW England. When on the seabed the herring spawn is very vulnerable to disturbance by fishing gear or other human activities such as dredging or construction of marine wind turbines. 
 

Capture Info

Herring are mainly caught by drift nets and ring nets in Cornish inshore waters,  both methods that have few issues with by catch or discards.

References

 
Project Inshore Pre Assessment database
Ellis, J.R., Milligan, S.P., Readdy, L.,
 
Taylor, N. and Brown, M.J. 2012. Spawning and nursery grounds
of selected fish species in UK waters. Sci. Ser. Tech. Rep., Cefas
Lowestoft, 147: 56 pp.
 
Cheung, W.W.L., T.J. Pitcher and D. Pauly, 2005. A fuzzy logic expert system to estimate intrinsic extinction vulnerabilities of marine fishes to fishing. Biol. Conserv. 124:97-111
 
www.fishonline.org.uk
 

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