In its multitude of forms, herring is an important food source for both human and non-human animals. These sleek, silvery fish move in vast schools and attract a variety of predators, including sharks, dolphins, tuna, seals and seabirds. Because they are a staple of so many marine diets, sport fishermen often use herring as a baitfish to catch larger animals.
They are a foraging fish that feed initially on phytoplankton and then larger organisms as they grow. Their feeding behavior is easy to spot, especially in an aquarium setting, as they will often swim along with their gaping mouths wide open so they can filter the water for food.
This fish can usually be found in inshore water from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California.