Monday, 7 December 2009


Much discussion in our house this evening about kippers, herrings and suchlike.

According to Office of National Statistics the North Sea herring population was seriously affected by over-fishing in the 1970s. Fishing was stopped between 1978 and 1982 and this allowed stocks to recover. From the late 1980s there was another decline, but things recovered from the mid-1990s. In 2004 the stock was at the highest level recorded for 40 years.

Unfortunately stocks declined in 2005, and according to Cefas the decline has continued since. Cefas say that North Sea herring stocks have shown enormous fluctuation in the past, but the stock is currently assessed as being at risk of reduced reproductive capacity and being harvested unsustainably.

My two kippers earlier this year shouldn't have done too much harm, but the EU is still limiting the amount that can be caught.
Let's hope things get better for the poor herring in future, so that we can continue to enjoy the occasional kipper from Craster.

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