Canadian Marine Life Encyclopedia
Also known as
Bank herring, shore herring, common herring, sardines
Throughout the North Atlantic Ocean
Pelagic to coastal in cold to temperate waters
Order Clupeiformes (herring), Family Clupeidae (herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens)
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Small but mighty, Atlantic herring are one of the most abundant fish in the ocean and are often found gathered together in large schools. Some schools of herring have been estimated to contain several billion fish! They are silvery fish with a blueish iridescence found all throughout the North Atlantic Ocean and are socially, culturally and economically important to humans. They are a migratory species, demonstrating both seasonal migrations, coming inshore from the open ocean for spawning and over-wintering purposes; and temporal migrations, spending daytime in deeper waters and coming up to the surface to feed at night.