An oily, full-flavoured fish great when smoked or as fish cakes

These tasty little fish are found in large numbers in the shallow cooler waters of the southern and mid-west regions of Western Australia, with most growing to around 25cm in length, so you can get a good feed from just a couple of fish. While popular with recreational fishers, these little treats are only fished in small numbers commercially. Herring have an oily flesh and a fishy taste so are great when smoked or as fish cakes, but are equally popular when dusted with a light batter and pan-fried.

Don Hancey’s Cooking Tip
Herring are healthy, affordable and delicious. They are an oily fish, jam-packed with nutrients and healthy omegas. My favourite way to eat herring is once again staying on the “keep it simple” path. Great as a breakfast dish of pan fried local herring on sourdough toast. Pan fry the herring fillets, dusting first in plain flour with a touch of paprika, when cooked, add some chopped parsley, butter, and a squirt of fresh lemon. Serve the herring on top of some unbuttered sourdough toast and spoon over some of the delicious pan juices. It’s great with a cup of English Breakfast Tea or a WA Sauvignon Blanc.

Herring is easily caught off Western Australian beaches, jetties and small boats. The fish is also available to purchase in most fish mongers and seafood restaurants.

Australian herring live in the waters between Shark Bay and Albany. The largest commercial herring fishery, South Coast G-net Fishery, was closed in 2015 to encourage species recovery. Currently, only a small amount of herring is caught commercially in Western Australia.