HERRINGS - These important fish convert zooplankton and krill into protein for higher level trophic species, consuming phytoplankton before maturity.
In an effort to feed a growing population we should look at alternatives lower down the food chain to increase the ratio at which protein is harvested from the ocean, so bypassing the conventional food chain where at each stage of consumption there are significant losses in the conversion process. Jellyfish, squid, krill and filter feeders such a mussels could play a part in filling the widening gap between falling fish stocks and higher demand to feed humans - so relieving the pressure on sardines, tuna, salmon and other popular white fish.
The herring family Clupeidae is Clupea. Clupea contains three species: the Atlantic herring (the type species) found in the north Atlantic, the Pacific herring found in the north Pacific, and the Araucanian herring found off the coast of Chile. Subspecific divisions have been suggested for both the Atlantic and Pacific herrings, but their biological basis remains unclear. Herring are forage fish, mostly belonging to the family Clupeidae.
Herring often move in large schools around fishing banks and near the coast. The most abundant and commercially important species belong to the genus Clupea, found particularly in shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic Oceans, including the Baltic Sea, as well as off the west coast of South America. Three species of Clupea are recognised, and provide about 90% of all herrings captured in fisheries. Most abundant of all is the Atlantic herring, providing over half of all herring capture. Fishes called herring are also found in the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and Bay of Bengal.
Herring played a pivotal role in the history of marine fisheries in Europe, and early in the 20th century, their study was fundamental to the evolution of fisheries science. These oily fish also have a long history as an important food fish, and are often salted, smoked, or pickled.
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MARINE LIFE - This humpback whale is one example of a magnificent animal that is at the mercy of human activity. Humans are for the most part unaware of the harm their fast-lane lifestyles are causing. We aim to change that by doing all we can to promote ocean literacy.
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