Pacific Herring
Scientific Name Clupea pallasii
Conservation Status Threatened
Family Chordata
Habitat North Pacific Shallow water
Food Plankton and small particles/organisms

The Pacific herring, Clupea pallasii, is a species of the herring family associated with the Pacific Ocean environment of North America and northeast Asia. This species is a silvery fish with unspined fins and a deeply forked caudal fin. The distribution is widely along the California coast from Baja California north to Alaska and the Bering Sea; in Asia the distribution is 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 have an unusual retinal design that allows filter feeding in extremely dim lighting environments.

Historically the Pacific herring has been an important species, due to its productive abilities to generate significant species biomass. Due to human overpopulation and resulting overfishing, the total North American Pacific herring fishery collapsed in 1993, and is slowly recovering with active management by North American resource managers.

On April 2, 2007, the Juneau group of the Sierra Club submitted a petition to list Pacific herring in the Lynn Canal, Alaska, area as a threatened or endangered Distinct Population Segment (DPS) under the criteria of the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). On April 11, 2008, that petition was denied because the Lynn Canal population was not found to qualify as a DPS. However, the National Marine Fisheries Service did announce would be initiating a status review for a wider Southeast Alaska DPS of Pacific herring that includes the Lynn Canal population. The Southeast Alaska DPS of Pacific herring extends from Dixon Entrance northward to Cape Fairweather and Icy Point and includes all Pacific herring stocks in Southeast Alaska.

Pacific herring are currently harvested commercially for salmon bait and for roe. Past commercial uses included fish oil and fish meal.