Norwegian spring-spawning herring
The herring is a pelagic fish inhabiting the upper water masses. Norwegian spring-spawning herring (NSSH) belongs to the Atlanto-Scandian herring together with Icelandic summer-spawning and Icelandic spring-spawning herring.
Norwegian spring-spawning herring has its main spawning off Møre during February-March, but spawning areas extends northwards to Vesterålen.
Atlantic herring spawns on the bottom where the eggs hatch after about three weeks. The newly hatched larvae drift with the current northwards along the coast and into the Barents Sea during summer. After 3-4 years the herring leaves the Barents Sea and migrates southward along the Norwegian coast to join the spawning stock.
After spawning NSSH migrates into the Norwegian Sea to feed. The main prey species is the copepod Calanus finmarchicus and main feeding areas are the frontal areas between the warm Atlantic and cold Arctic water, in the central and western part of the Norwegian Sea. In September/October the herring has migrated northeastward to the main wintering areas off the coast in the ocean off Troms and Finnmark. The southward spawning migration starts in January.
NSSH is a very important species in the ecosystems, which it inhabits. It preys on Calanus finmarchicus and is itself an important prey for other species such as cod, saithe and other demersal species, in addition to sea birds and whales. Large numbers of killer whales follow the herring during its migration. Before spawning the gonads account for about 20 % of the herring weight and a spawning stock of 10 mill tons deposits about 2 mill tons of spawning products every year. This is an important food source for coastal species during spring and summer.
Herring has been a go-to nutrition source since as early as 3000 B.C. due to its high long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, DHA and vitamin D content. Our Partner, Norway Pelagic is the largest producer of Herring Roe in Norway. They are original in pioneering the preparation of high quality mature herring roe used as sushi all over the world. We have been able to develop production processes where we use immature herring roe, as raw material source for all our omega3MPL products.
The herring are caught in the winter; by the west coast of Norway, during the annual herring run, at the time when the roe of the females is in prime condition just before the fish are due to spawn. The roe is quickly extracted for maximum freshness, wasted and prepared to be deep frozen in minus 20 degrees Celsius. The roe is deep frozen all the time until it is put in production at our production partners in Europe. This secures high quality and a fresh and good tasty product.
Herring roe are the eggs harvested from herring, which are formed into a single rectangular shaped product called a skein. The herring spawn each year in late January and until early March outside the west coast of Norway.