Herring is a common fish species found in many parts of the world and is an important part of the global fishing industry. As herring are harvested for their meat, it is important to identify the fish at different stages of their development. This article will look at what herring are called before the development of their heads and tails.
Pre-Development of Herring
Herring begin their life in the open ocean, where they float freely and feed on plankton. As they grow, they slowly develop their heads, tails, and other features. At this stage, they are known as unformed herring. This is an important stage of development, as it is when they can be identified and harvested.
Identification of Unformed Herring
Unformed herring can be identified by their size and shape. They are usually small, between 1 and 3 inches in length, and have a cylindrical body shape. The body is usually silver in color and is covered in small scales. They also have a small, black eye that is visible on the side of the body.
Unformed herring can also be identified by their behavior. They are usually found in large schools, and will often swim together in tight formations. They are also active swimmers and can be seen darting through the water in search of food.
Unformed herring are an important part of the global fishing industry, and it is important to be able to identify them. By understanding their size, shape, and behavior, fishermen can easily identify unformed herring and ensure that they are harvested sustainably.
Seafood enthusiasts may not believe it, but there is an etymological evolution to the term “haring” (herring). Before the female fish have had the opportunity to mature, grow the telltale slimy kuit (spawning) ribbon, develop the egg sacs, or other physical attributes of “ready to spawn” products, the collective term for the body of immature fish is “haringen”.
When individuals catch small herring, they will likely refer to them as “haringen”. This term covers young herring of any age, but they are typically less than 5-6 cm in length. Haringen lack the iconic kuit ribbon and have not had the opportunity to spawn, but they have easily identifiable features—namely, their scales, dark lateral line, curved back, and single dorsal fin.
It may be difficult to differentiate herring from other small fish such as smelt or shad, but haringen typically have low pale or silver bodies with heads that contain a single bone forming both the lower and upper jaw. By contrast, smelt have a short lower jaw and the upper jaw drops to a point.
When it comes to determining haringen from hom (fully mature) herring, the hom only differs from the haringen in that its kuit has grown and developed enough to become ready for obvious spawning. Hom herring will reach 40 cm in length on average and have darker, heavily patterned skin. The kuit on these fish resembles a slimy, spaghetti-like ribbon.
Although herring are an important part of any seafood enthusiast’s kitchen, they can be elusive creatures. To ensure a successful herring haul, it is important to remember that haringen do not have a developed kuit, and can be differentiated from fully mature herring and other small fish. With that knowledge, fishing for herring and other delicious seafood will become much easier!