Second workshop on stock identification and allocation of catches of herring to stocks



WKSIDAC2WKSIDAC2TrueRichard Nash, Florian BergFRSGrichard.nash@cefas.gov.uk, florian.berg@hi.noSecond workshop on stock identification and allocation of catches of herring to stocks

19-23 June ​2023​​
ICES HQ, Copenhagen, Denmark

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Most herring populations are migratory and often congregate on feeding and wintering grounds where aggregations may consist of mixtures of individuals from several populations, thus the standard concept of ‘a herring stock’ within a geographical area such as a management unit is not straight-forward to assume. The analysis of the genetic composition is becoming a widely and cost-effective tool for stock identification for separating herring into populations or stocks.

Recent advances include Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and Genotyping by Sequencing (GBS) based approaches have recently been developed and applied to e.g., herring (Clupea harengus), cod (Gadus morhua), boarfish (Capros aper) and horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) for marker development and screening of spawning samples.

Given these developments, it is now timely to revisit this herring stock identification method after the conclusions of WKSIDAC in 2017 (ICES, 2​​​017​). 

The objectives of this workshop are:

  • review recent status of genetic stock identification for herring and outstanding issues affecting identification accuracy/success
  • analyze the optimal baseline requirements for stock assessment purposes, both for specific survey as well as commercial catches
  • outline a general description of prerequisites for the implementation of stock identification of herring
  • provide guidance on a retrospective correction of herring survey and catch time-series where necessary

Key stocks to focus on:

Stock / componentAbbr.Area
Icelandic Summer Spawning HerringISSH27.5.a
Norwegian Spring Spawning HerringNSSH27.2.a
North Sea Autumn Spawning Herring NSAS27.4, 27.3.a, 27.7.d
Downs Winter Spawning Herring 
Western Baltic Spring Spawning HerringWBSS27.3.a, etc.
Central Baltic HerringCBH27.3.d
Irish Sea Herring NIRS27.7.aN
Celtic Sea HerringCSH27.7.aS, 7.g-h, 7.j-k
6a North Autumn spawning herring 27.6.aN
6a South 7bc herring 27.6.aS, 7.bc


In addition, the following stocks may be considered:

Norwegian Autumn Spawning HerringNASH27.2.a
Faroese Autumn Spawning herring  
Baltic Autumn spawning herringBASH27.3
6a North Spring spawning herring 27.6.aN
Thames/Blackwater herring  
Clyde herring 27.6.aN
Herring in Divisions 7ef 27.7.e, 27.7.f


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