The Pacific herring, Clupea pallasii, is one of three species of herring family (genus Culpea). It is a silvery fish with unspined fins and a deeply forked caudal fin. Clupea pallasii inhabits the Pacific Ocean environment of North America and northeast Asia. It occurs widely along the California coast from Baja California north to Alaska and the Bering Sea and in Asia south to Japan. Clupea pallasii is sometimes considered a keystone species because of its very high productivity and interactions with a large number of predators and prey. Pacific herring spawn in variable seasons, but often in the early part of the year in intertidal and sub-tidal environments, commonly on eelgrass or other submerged vegetation. They do not die after spawning, but can breed in successive years. According to government sources, the Pacific herring fishery collapsed in the year 1993, and is slowly recovering to commercial viability in several North American stock areas. The species is named for Peter Simon Pallas, a noted German naturalist and explorer. (Barnhart 1988; Wikipedia 2011)
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