Herring research since the 1980s

Baltic herring research

The Baltic herring project focuses on the reproductive biology of the Baltic herring (Clupea harengus) and processes and factors affecting the fish in the northern Baltic Sea. The research started at the University of Turku (Archipelago Research Institute and the Department of Biology) 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 Archipelago Sea area and especially in the vicinity of the city of Turku, where some of the major reproductive areas of herring are situated. As a result, the project 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 survives in the changing conditions of the Baltic Sea.

These pages present some results of the herring project, and also provide general information on the northern Baltic herring, which, despite of its small body size, is an important component of the Baltic ecosystem as well as the Baltic fisheries.

The herring 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


About the project