Some observations on the feeding ecology of Norwegian spring spawning herring (Clupea harengus) along the coast of Norway
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The feeding ecology of Norwegian spring spawning herring Clupea harengus was studied with samples collected from cruises in February -March 1991, May 1992, and February and April 1993. A wide variety of zooplankton organisms were observed in the diet of herring, with crustaceans dominating except in samples from May 1992 when larvaceans (Oikopleura sp.) dominated. Fish were occasionally preyed. In addition to larvaceans, copepods (Calanus finmarchicus and C. hyperboreus ) and amphipods (Parathemisto spp.) were important food items in the diet of herring captured in May 1992. Krill (Thysanoessa inermis and Meganyctiphanes norvegica) were the major prey of herring from the Møre coast in February-March 1991 and in February 1993. Plankton samples taken with MOCNESS from the same area also showed krill to be dominant. Sixty to seventy per cent of the stomachs examined from these two cruises were empty indicating low feeding activity during the spawning season.