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.

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.

The Baltic herring research project has been supported by

  • Sakari Alhopuro Foundation
  • Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation
  • Finnish Cultural Foundation
  • Turku University Foundation
  • Saaristomeren kalatalouden toimintaryhmä (Skärgårdshavets Fiskeleader)
  • 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

Recent news and events

  • Herring research in the local news media: Yle news 26.5. and Helsingin sanomat 1.2.2023.
  • Herring research featured in the Arja Renell’s art work at John Nurminen Foundation’s “Tuntematon Itämeri” exhibition at Suomenlinna, Helsinki 17.5-15.9.2023.
  • 20-21.3.2023: Katja Mäkinen will give a poster presentation at “Kansalliset kalatutkimuspäivät”-event, organized by the University of Jyväskylä in Jyväskylä.
  • 1.3.2023: Two-year (2023-2024) collaborative project with the National Resources Institute Finland begins. The project is funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
  • 23.1.2023: The ELY-Centre of South-West Finland (VARELY/Kalatalousvarat) grants financial support (15653 euro) for the Baltic herring survey for the upcoming summer season 2023
  • 3.2-5.3.2023: Matterlurgy: Helena Hunter and Mark Peter Wright, curator Taru Elfving: Art exhibition at Titanik gallery (Itäinen Rantakatu 8, Turku) utilizing the work of the project.
  • 30.11.2022: Finished MSc thesis!: Johannes Sahlsten (2022) Prevalence and molecular identification of acanthocephalan parasites (Corynosoma spp.) in the Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras) and great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo). Department of Biology, University of Turku.
  • 14.11.2022: The Baltic herring project joins Instagram!
  • 7-11.11.2022: Katja Mäkinen, Johannes Sahlsten and Aarne Lauerma will attend and give oral and poster presentations at the International Symposium on Small Pelagic Fish: New Frontiers in Science for Sustainable Management at Lisbon, Portugal.
  • 26.8.2022: Katja Mäkinen and Johannes Sahlsten gave a presentation at the “Baltic herring seminar” organized collaboratively by the fishery groups of coastal Finland.
  • 12-13.8.2022: Katja Mäkinen gave a presentation on herring otoliths at the “How do you know what you know? Exercises in Attentiveness” event, organised collaboratively by CAA Contemporary Art Archipelago and New Performance Turku at Seili island.
  • 9.6.2022: Our latest publication “Varying frequency of vateritic otoliths in the Baltic herring Clupea harengus membras” was published in the Journal of Fish Biology.
  • 25.5.2022: Katja Mäkinen’s project “The variation and significance of iodine in the Baltic Sea ecosystem” was awarded a 60000 euro grant from the Sakari Alhopuro Foundation.

About the project