What makes herring from Norway so special? Here are six reasons why you should choose Norwegian herring.
Our herring fisheries focuses primarily on two stocks of Atlanto-Scandian herring, spring spawning herring and North Sea herring. Both are considered harvested sustainably and at full reproductive capacity by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).
Where and when you catch herring massively impacts the fat content, taste and quality of the fish. Herring are migratory fish and cover large distances to reach special feeding and spawning grounds. Here in Norway, we have perfected the time and place to catch herring in its prime – and we are fortunate to live right next to where the herring is when it is at it’s absolute best.
Our herring fisheries mainly comprises of two different stocks:
The premium catch period for Norwegian spring spawning herring is in the autumn, when the fat content peaks at between 16-20 percent (https://www.sildelaget.no/no/fiskeri/nvg-sild/ (in Norwegian)). The minimum catch size for Norwegian spring spawning herring is currently 25 cm, ensuring only mature fish are caught, leaving younger ones to grow, spawn and thrive. Norway has the biggest quota for Norwegian spring spawning and has a reliable, transparent and streamlined sales process from sea to customer.
The North Sea herring is caught further south, and its premium catch period is during the spring months, primarily May and June, when fat content ranges between 18 and 25 percent. For Dutch connoisseurs the North Sea herring caught in the period after it has reached reproductive maturity but before developing roe or milt, is called Hollandse Nieuwe or Maatjes, which means “virginal”. This is a much revered seasonal delicacy in the Netherlands.
The minimum catch size for the fast-growing herring caught in Norway is 25 and 20 cm respectively, ensuring only mature fish are caught, leaving younger ones to grow, spawn and thrive.
Read more about Norwegian herring on our product pages.
The Norwegian fishing fleet and the craftspeople working in the entire value chain of our fisheries are continuously looking for ways to improve quality, efficiency and the sustainability credentials of their operations.
Our ultra-modern fleet and high-tech machinery puts Norwegian herring fisheries at the forefront of preserving quality as well as efficiency and waste reduction.
A quality catch
Fishing techniques in the Norwegian herring fleet are also designed to optimize catch, preserve quality and minimize bycatch. Norway to a large degree catch herring using purse seine, a gentler and more quality preserving fishing technique than trawl. (See image below for more info on fishing methods)
Keeping it cool
As soon as the herring is lifted out of the water, it is swiftly cooled on board and brought to shore. The proximity of the catching areas to our shores keeps our fish fresh, as it enables our fishermen to make multiple trips and reduces the amount of time that the fish is stored onboard the vessel. Once aboard, the herring is kept in sophisticated holding tanks (a large vessel can hold 12-16 large tanks), which use refrigerated seawater (RSW) to keep the fish at a temperature of around 0°C.
Gently does it
Delicious fish shouldn’t go to waste, so we’ve developed innovative solutions that avoid putting too much mechanical pressure on the fish. Pumping solutions transport the herring from sea to boat and then from boat to shore in the gentlest way possible. Once on shore, the fish is filleted or packed whole and frozen immediately.
All fish is sold from vessel to landing site though regulated and open online auctions, ensuring transparency, fair pricing and quality with every transaction.
A partner you can trust
As a supplier, Norwegian herring exporters are known as reliable partners and for having longstanding relationships with their customers. International customers know that they can trust Norwegian herring when it comes to long-erm price and volume reliability, as well as quality and efficient delivery.
As a buyer of Norwegian herring, you are also able to benefit from the extensive international generic marketing of Seafood from Norway and herring, through the activities of the Norwegian Seafood Council, the world’s largest generic seafood marketing organisation.
Three in four consumers say origin is of great importance when choosing seafood, according to our annual seafood consumer survey – the biggest of its kind.
Clearly communicating the origin of seafood makes sense also from a business perspective, as 3 in 5 consumers say they are willing to pay a premium for seafood with clear origin labelling, such as the Seafood from Norway origin mark. Read more about the Seafood from Norway origin label. (Source SCI, 2020, Norwegian Seafood Council)
Obtaining licensing rights for the Seafood from Norway label enable merchants to benefit from the global marketing efforts led by the Norwegian Seafood Council, including applying for jointly financed campaigns for Norwegian seafood partnering with Norwegian exporters.
Our focus on food safety is rigorous at every level, from fishery to fork. Naturally, the Norwegian system adheres to international standards, and as a member of the European Economic Area we are obliged to follow EU regulation for food production and safety. But we also have our own stringent national system, through which me monitor every aspect of the value chain.
The entire seafood value chain is monitored on behalf of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, whilst all processing plants must adhere to strict self-check procedures to ensure the highest quality fish and food safety standards.
Since 1994 the International Marine Research institute in Norway monitors our seafood through regular testing for contaminants and other unwanted substances in our seafood. All findings are readily available in a searchable database on their websites.
Our regulatory bodies and research institutions work together with the industry to continuously monitor and safeguard seafood safety at every level, so customers of Norwegian seafood can be sure of the safety and quality of the herring products they purchase.
Norwegian herring is a superfood in the truest sense of the word, being both a dietary superstar and low-carbon option.
Among many essential nutrients Norwegian herring caught during the premium catch period contains plenty of Omega-3 healthy fats and Vitamin D, in fact more than most of its herring cousins in other parts of the world. And being a quick-growing pelagic species caught in a sustainable manner it also has a very low carbon footprint.