Herring (clupea harengus) is found only in northern waters, and has from time immemorial been one the earth's most utilised marine resources. The fish moves in immense shoals and although its migratory paths were known and the species often caught in huge quantities, few things were as hard to depend on as the unpredictable herring.
Ancient remains of human settlements show that thousands of years ago herring was one of the main sources of nourishment for many European nations. This vitamin rich and healthy food was a true lifesaver for the poor and a vital prop in the economies of world powers. Indeed, the beginning of the British and Dutch empires is considered by many to have been built in large measure on herring fisheries and the herring trade. Herring was considered so important that in 1673
Eventually, it was the Norwegians who emerged as the world's leading herring fishers. But
Legends also tell us that the fish of the deep chose the herring as their king, inspired no doubt by the herring's graceful swimming and its sheer beauty when its massed shoals sparkle like silver through the ocean waves.
Icelanders have agreed with the old legends, and as an indication of the value they have put on the herring, have given the fish such titles as "silver of the sea", "diamond herring" and "
Herring - Silver of the Sea
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