Based on the most recent estimates of SSB and fishing mortality, ICES classifies the stock as having full reproductive capacity and being harvested sustainably. The 2002 and 2004 year classes dominate the current spawning stock which is estimated to be 5 million tonnes in 2013. The year classes 2005-2012 are all below average, while the 2013 year class is around average. The abundance of herring in the Barents Sea is believed to be at an intermediate level in 2014.
This stock has shown a large dependency on the occasional appearance of very strong year classes (Figure 4.3.50). Norwegian spring-spawning herring is fished along the Norwegian coast and in the Norwegian Sea, but not in the Barents Sea. However, juveniles from this stock play an important part role in the Barents Sea ecosystem (ICES AFWG, 2014).