Baltic Herring Research Project

Research on the reproductive biology of Baltic herring since the 1980s

Baltic herring research

The Baltic herring research project focuses on the reproductive biology of the Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras) and processes and factors affecting clupeid fish in the Baltic Sea.

The research started at the University of Turku in the beginning of the 1980s. Since then, the research on herring has continued in the form of several scientific and monitoring sub-projects, which have been carried out in the northern Baltic Archipelago Sea area and especially in the vicinity of the city of Turku (Finland), where some of the major reproductive areas of herring are situated.

As a result, the project has accumulated and now maintains several unique long-term data sets on herring, which have been collected by sampling the spawning fish and by monitoring the spawning beds by scuba diving.

During the project’s almost four-decade long history, environmental conditions at the spawning area have changed considerably, e.g. due to eutrophication and decreasing salinity, which gives us means to study how herring reproduces and survives in the changing conditions of the Baltic Sea.

These pages present some results of the project, and also provide general information on the Baltic herring, which despite of its small body size, is an important component of the Baltic ecosystem as well as the Baltic fisheries. Check the research page and contact the research group if you wish to collaborate with us on topics related to our research areas. Students are also welcomed to contact us on thesis topics related to herring as well as marine biology and the Baltic Sea.

The Baltic herring research project has been supported by

  • Sakari Alhopuro Foundation
  • Jenny and Wihuri Foundation
  • Finnish Cultural Foundation
  • Turku University Foundation
  • Saaristomeren kalatalouden toimintaryhmä
  • Nagu Rotaryklubb
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland
  • Southwest Finland ELY-centre
  • European Maritime and Fisheries Fund
  • Finnish Nature Resources Research Fund
  • Turku Finnish University Society


About the project