Variation in fat content and fatty-acid composition of the Baltic herring Clupea harengus membras

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The fat content and fatty-acid profiles of herring, Clupea harengus membras, from the southern Baltic Sea varied depending on when (fishing season) and where (fishing grounds) the fish were caught as well as on their size and sex. The fat, protein and dry matter content and the fatty-acid profiles were assayed in C. h. membras muscle tissue. The changes observed in fatty-acid profiles were determined by factors such as specimen mass and fat content, which, in turn, depended on fishing season. This is explained by dietary differences between juvenile and older fish. Gonad maturation and spawning in the latter are also factors. The study results provide confirmation of the hypothesis that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), in particular docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), play vital roles in the sexual maturation of C. h. membras.

Keywords: Baltic Sea; DHA; EPA; biological characteristics

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Sea Fisheries Institute in Gdynia, Department of Food and Environment Chemistry, 1 Kołłataja Str., 81-332 Gdynia, Poland 2: Sea Fisheries Institute in Gdynia, Department of Fishery Resources, 1 Kołłataja Str., 81-332 Gdynia, Poland

Publication date: August 1, 2010

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