Red-eye Round Herring

(Etrumeus whiteheadi)

Round herring, Red-eye round herring

1. What is it?

Round herring (Etrumeus whiteheadi) are small pelagic schooling fish. Adult round herring are targeted, particularly at the start of the year prior to anchovy becoming available on the West Coast. Juvenile round herring are also caught as bycatch within the small pelagic fishery for sardines and anchovy. Stock is thought to be in a good condition.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Round herring are targeted using purse seine nets which are set around a school of fish in the surface to mid-water. Round herring are typically only available to purse seine gear for short periods during dawn and dusk and are therefore opportunistically targeted. Bycatch in the fishery ranges between 5-30% and includes juvenile sardines and horse mackerel. There is no known damage to the benthic habitats.

3. Where is it from?

Round herring are caught mainly on the West Coast of South Africa. Catches of round herring are managed through a precautionary Upper Catch limit (PUCL) of 100 000 t. Management is considered largely effective and research is attempting to understand the interactions between the small pelagic fishery and the endangered African Penguin.