The single most important fish in human history is making waves again.
Without the frozen herring, there would be far less life in and around the Atlantic Ocean. And your health, your taste buds and the planet will all thank you for eating more of it.
Cities have been founded and wars have been waged because of it. At times it has nearly single-handedly fed an entire continent. Coveted by almost everything that moves above and below water, the Atlantic Herring spends its entire life trying to avoid being eaten. No other fish plays a larger role in feeding the life in the Atlantic, and no other fish has played a larger role in feeding Europe.
How is this possible? Well, herring comes in big numbers. Exceptionally big numbers. A single school can contain over three billion individuals. This means that a single conglomeration of herring can occupy nearly five cubic kilometers – enough space to fit not one, not two, but two thousand of the Great Pyramid of Giza. That’s a lot of fish.
Sustaining Atlantic life
A lot of the life in the Atlantic depends on the herring. It forms a key part of the diet of whales, orcas, dolphins, sharks, sea lions, cod, saithe, tuna, salmon, halibut and a number of seabirds – to mention a few. It is, in short, dangerous to be a herring. This is all too evident when the herring comes into the coast to spawn.
At the beginning of each year something spectacular happens in Norway. First, the plankton blooms occur, creating a nutritious environment rich in food. This attracts millions and millions of Atlantic herring. The herring go deep into our Norwegian fjords, looking for the perfect place to spawn. Then, bigger fish like cod, saithe, tuna, halibut and whales come hunting for the herring, creating an incredible feeding frenzy unlike anything else on Earth. Even seabirds and bears will come to feast on herring and its roe. This event makes the herring a crucial and irreplaceable part of life in the Arctic. frozen herring
Norwegian spring spawning herring – January-March and September-November
North Sea herring – May-June and August-September
Norwegian spring-spawning herring – North-East Atlantic
North Sea herring – North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat straits
Herring is rich in
– Vitamin D