The WOSHH 2023 spring-spawning herring field season has kicked off

The West of Scotland Herring Hunt (WOSHH) 2023 spring-spawning herring field work season has begun with shore-based environmental (e)DNA sampling. Environmental DNA (eDNA) is the DNA, shed by an organism (e.g., scales, excrement, etc.) or whole microorganisms, present in the environment. eDNA from water samples can be extracted, sequenced and linked back to species that were in the area. This makes it a potentially powerful, non-invasive tool to detect elusive spawning herring shoals through shore-based sampling.

The method was first trialled last spring at 3 different locations off Wester Ross by members of the community. The method was successful at detecting herring DNA in the water. WOSHH will once again be collecting eDNA samples with members of the community in Wester Ross, as well as Skye and Arran. Go say hello if you see them out bundled up collecting seawater.