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herring

herring, common name for members of the large, widely distributed family Clupeidae, comprising many species of marine and freshwater food fishes, including the sardine (Sardinia), the menhaden (Brevoortia and Ethmidium), and the shad (Alosa). Herrings are relatively small but very abundant; they swim in huge schools, feeding on plankton and small animals and plants.

The adult Atlantic herring, Clupea harengus, found in temperate and cold waters of the North Atlantic, is about 1 ft (30 cm) long with silvery sides and blue back. It lays up to 30,000 eggs, which sink to the sea bottom and develop there; the young mature in three years. Other species lay their eggs in seaweed in shallow waters, and still others, the anadromous types, spawn in large rivers. Best known of these is the American shad, Alosa sapidissima. Another common anadromous herring is the alewife, A. pseudoharengus (14 in./37.5 cm), found along the Atlantic coast from Labrador to South Carolina and landlocked in Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes of New York. The alewife and the blueback herring, A. aestivalis, which is thinner and a little shorter with a blue-black back, and found from Nova Scotia to Florida, are collectively known as river herring.

The menhaden, also called bunker or pogy, is a species of the Atlantic coast of North America. Oily and bony, it is not valuable as a food fish. It was used by Native Americans to fertilize their cornfields (its name is the Narraganset word for "fertilizing" ). The vast majority of the menhaden caught, some 500 million pounds or more a year since the 1970s (until catch limits were imposed in 2012), is converted into oil and fish meal for dietary supplements, fertilizer, and fish and animal feed. Menhaden are also important as food for other wild fishes.

The skipjack, a streamlined, steel-blue shad 15 in. long, is found in the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. Its name, which is also applied to the much smaller and unrelated silversides and to a much larger and unrelated bonito (see tuna), describes any fish with a habit of leaping clear of the water.

Of the smaller food herrings and related species, the sardines are the most important. The true sardine from France, Spain, and Portugal is usually the young pilchard (Sardinia pilchardus) of Mediterranean and Atlantic coastal waters. The small European herrings (called sprats, or brislings) are cured without fermentation and are sold as Norwegian, or Swedish, anchovies and sardines. The name sardine is also applied to various small fish packed with oil or sauce in flat cans; the name sprat is sometimes applied to certain American species of commercial herring.

Sardine fishing and canning are an important industry in Maine, where small herrings are used, and in California, where the sardine is a pilchard of a genus (Sardinops) different from the European pilchard. The larger herrings are dried, smoked, salted, or pickled and sold in nearly all parts of the world under such names as bloaters, kippers, and red herrings. Many herring species have been overfished, and catch limits have been placed on some species. Herring species also fluctuate in response to natural conditions, e.g., warm water in the Pacific detrimentally affected the survival of young herring in the Canadian fisheries in the 1970s.

Herrings are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Clupeiformes, family Clupeidae.

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herring

herring Oily fish, Clupea harengus; young herrings are sild. Sprat is Clupea sprattus; young are brislings. Pilchard is Clupea pilchardus; young are sardines. Kippers, bloaters, and red herrings are salted and smoked herrings; bucklings are hot‐smoked herrings. Gaffelbitar is preserved herring. A 150‐g portion (weighed with bones), grilled, is an exceptionally rich source of vitamins D, B12, and selenium; a rich source of protein, niacin, and vitamin B6; a source of vitamins B1, B2, iodine, and iron; contains 200 mg of sodium, about 13–28 g of fat, varying with the season, of which one‐third is saturated and half is mono‐unsaturated; supplies 200–360 kcal (800–1500 kJ).

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Clupeidae

Clupeidae (herring, shad; subclass Actinopterygii, order Clupeiformes) A large family of mainly marine fish which have compressed, streamlined bodies with a single, soft-rayed, dorsal fin half-way down the back, and a forked tail fin. Nearly all clupeids have protruding scales, giving the ventral side a rough or serrated appearance. The family includes many commercially important species, e.g. Clupea harengula (herring), Sardina pilchardus (pilchard), and Brevoortia tyrannus (Atlantic menhaden). Some species, e.g. Dorosoma cepedianum (American gizzard shad), are found only in freshwater systems. Like many other clupeids, they move in large schools, feeding on plankton. They are found world-wide, in temperate and tropical waters.

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herring

herring Marine fish found worldwide. One of the most important food fish, various species are canned as pilchard or sardine, or sold fresh, pickled, or smoked (as kippers and bloaters). Herrings have a laterally compressed body and a deeply forked tail fin. Length: 8–46cm (3–18in). Family Clupeidae; the 190 species include Clupea harengus.

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herring

herring OE. hǣring, hēring = MLG. hērink, hārink (Du. haring), OHG. hāring (G. häring, hering) :- WGmc. *χēriŋġa, beside which a var. with *χar- is repr. by medL. haringus; perh. orig. ‘greyish-white fish’, f. HOAR; see -ING3.

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herring

her·ring / ˈhering/ • n. a silvery fish (Clupea and other genera) that is most abundant in coastal waters and is of great commercial importance as a food fish in many parts of the world. The herring family (Clupeidae) also includes the sprats, shads, and pilchards.

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herring

herring every herring must hang by its own gill everyone is accountable for their own actions; saying recorded from the early 17th century.

See also neither fish nor fowl nor good red herring, red herring.

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herring

herring See CLUPEIDAE.

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herring

herring •handspring • hamstring • herring •headspring • wellspring •airing, ballbearing, bearing, Behring, Bering, caring, daring, fairing, hardwearing, pairing, paring, raring, sparing, Waring, wearing •talebearing • childbearing •wayfaring • seafaring • cheeseparing •time-sharing • mainspring • keyring •gee-string • watch spring • offspring •boring, flooring, Goring, riproaring, roaring, scoring, shoring •drawstring • goalscoring •outpouring • bowstring • shoestring •bullring •auctioneering, clearing, earring, electioneering, engineering, gearing, orienteering, privateering, shearing •God-fearing • puppeteering •firing, retiring, uninspiring, untiring, wiring •during, mooring, reassuring, Turing •posturing • restructuring •meandering • rendering •pondering, wandering •ordering • maundering •plundering, thundering, wondering •offering • suffering • fingering •scaremongering • hankering •flickering, Pickering •tinkering • hammering • glimmering •unmurmuring • tampering •whimpering • whispering •smattering, unflattering •earthshattering • schoolmastering •Kettering • self-catering • wittering •quartering, watering •faltering • roistering • muttering •gathering • woolgathering •blithering •flavouring (US flavoring), unwavering •quivering •manoeuvring (US maneuvering) •covering • wallcovering •Goering, stirring, unerring

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