Herring feed on small and microscopic organisms floating in the ocean, called plankton. They eat phytoplankton when they are young, and zooplankton, especially crustaceans, as they get larger. Herring catch their prey by swimming with their mouths wide open. Since plankton blooms are limited to spring and summer,  herring take advantage of this seasonal resource to build up fat reserves that allow them to spend the winter in deeper, colder waters.  Herring catch zooplankton by following the plankton’s daily migration pattern of spending the night in shallow water and the day near the ocean’s bottom.

Monday, January 27, 2014