Monday, February 29, 2016

Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus)

A member of the Clupeidae family of herring, the Atlantic herring is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most numerous fish and is certainly one of the world’s most valuable fish.

In the Gulf of Maine, Atlantic herring provide forage for numerous other species and support a commercially critical New England fishery.

Herring have been heavily exploited for well over 150 years, providing an extensive historical record for analysis.

The Atlantic herring is silvery with a bluish or greenish-blue back and an elongated body. The dorsal fin begins at about the middle of the body, and there are 39 or 47 weakly developed ventral scutes. At the midline of the belly are scales that form a sharp-edged ridge. The Atlantic herring's body is flattened side to side. This shape both streamlines the fish and makes it hard for predators to spot. A counter- shading pattern of a dark back and silvery underside makes the herring even harder to detect

This species schools in coastal waters and have been recorded in temperatures of 34 to 64 °F. The present distribution of the Atlantic herring reflects occurs in the northeast Atlantic from where it invaded the freshwater estuaries of northern Russia.

The Atlantic herring is distributed from Cape Hatteras (North Carolina) to Greenland in the western North Atlantic and from the Bay of Biscay to Spitsbergen and Novaya Zemlya in the eastern Atlantic. It also enters the White Sea.
Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus)

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