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Synonyms
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  • Clupea harengus B membras  Linnaeus, 1761:128 (Baltic).
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  • Cyprinus esca  Walbaum, 1792:36 (on Pennant, 1769).
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  • Clupea elongata  LeSueur, 1818:234 (Massachusetts).
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  • Clupea alba  Yarrell, 1829:137, 465, pl. 5, fig. 2 (Thames estuary).
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  • Clupea leachii  Yarrell, 1832:277, pl. 12 (Thames, Medway estuaries).
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  • Clupea minima  Storer, 1839:113 (New Hampshire).
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  • Clupea harengus  Svetovidov, 1952:117, pl. 2, figs 1, 2, pl. 3 fig. 2 (eastern Atlantis, Baltic); Idem, 1963:123, same plates; FWNA, 1964:275, fig. 66 (western Atlantic); Andriyashev; 1964:73 (northern seas of former USSR); Liem & Scott, 1966:94 (western Atlantic); Whitehead, 1967:17 (Rogenia alba of Valenciennes); CLOFNAM, 1973:99 (eastern Atlantic, full synonymy);FNAM, 1984:219 (eastern Atlantic, synopsis).
    FAO Names
    En - Atlantic herring, Fr - Hareng de l'Atlantique, Sp - Arenque del Atlántico.
    3Alpha Code: HER     Taxonomic Code: 1210500105
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Clupea harengus  Linnaues, 1758, Syst.nat., 10th ed.:317 (northern Europe).
    Diagnostic Features
    Body elongate and fairly slender, belly rather rounded, scutes without prominent keel. No median notch in upper jaw (cf. Alosa ).  Gill cover (operculum) without radiating bony striae (cf. Sardinops, which has dark spots along the flank). Hind border of gill opening evenly rounded (with two fleshy outgrowths in Sardinella ).  Pelvic fin insertion behind vertical from dorsal fin origin (below or in front in Sprattus ) pelvic finrays i 8 (rarely i 7 or i 9) (only Alosa and some species of Sardinella have this count; all other clupeids have i 6 or i 7).  No distinctive dark spots on body or fins. 
    Can be confused with: Overlaps C. pallasii in White Sea, but distinguished by more vertebrae and post-pelvic scutes (usually 55 to 57 and 12 to 16; cf. usually 52 to 55 and 10 to 14).

    Geographical Distribution

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    Eastern Atlantic (northern Bay of Biscay northward to Iceland and southern Greenland, eastward to Spitzbergen and Novaya Zemlya, also Baltic; western Atlantic (southwestern Greenland, Labrador, southward to South Carolina).
    Habitat and Biology
    Coastal,pelagic down to 200 m,schooling, with complex feeding and spawning migrations, whose times and extent correlate with the various more or less distinct razes which can be recognized on morphological grounds (mainly numbers of vertebrae, finrays, scales and gillrakers).Feeds on small planktonic copepods in the first year, and thereafter mainly copepods (especially Calanus finmarchicus and Temora longicornis), but also hyperid amphipods, euphausids, mysid shrimps, small fishes, arrow-worms, ctenophores and pteropods).
    At least one population is spawning in any one month of the year, each race having a different spawning time and place (spring, summer, autumn and winter herrings; in 0 to 5 m off Greenland down to 200 m in autumn (bank) herrings of the North Sea; eggs laid on the sea bed, on rock, stones, gravel, sand or beds of algae or phanerogams (see also data under genus). Note: is impossible to summarize briefly the wide range of spawning strategies of Atlantic herring; the best reviews are those of Svetovidov (1952, 1963) for the eastern Atlantic and FWNA (1964) for the western Atlantic. 
    Size
    To 40 cm standard length, usually 20 to 25 cm.
    Interest to Fisheries
    After a strong reduction of the total catch in the 1970's (from 4 095 394 t in 1966 to 887 533 t in 1979) due to overfishing, the catches have been recovering in the recent years exceeding two million t (2 325 781) in 1995. About 10-20% of these catches are taken in area 21 (Northwest Atlantic) while the bulk is caught in area 27 (Northeast Atlantic). The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 2 403 543 t. The countries with the largest catches were Norway (821 435 t) and Iceland (343 769 t).
    Local Names
    : Numerous local names have been given, not only to the species, but to all the various forms (subspecies, races, etc., of authors) .
    Source of Information
    FAO Species catalogue Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world. (Suborder CLUPEOIDEI) An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, anchovies and wolf-herrings. Part 1. Chirocentridae, Clupeidae and Pristigasteridae.Whitehead, P.J.P. 1985.  FAO Fish. Synop., (125)Vol.7 Pt. 1:303 p.
    Bibliography
    Andriyashev, (1964)
    Blaster & Hunter, (1982)
    FWNA, (1964), with some additional references in CLOFNAM, (1973)
    Liem & Scott, (1966)
    Svetovidov, (1952, 1963)
     
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