Herrings are forage fish, mostly belonging to the family Clupeidae. They often move in large schools around fishing banks and near the coast. The most abundant and commercially important species belong to the genus Clupea, found particularly in shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans, including the Baltic Sea, as well as off the west coast of South America. Three species of Clupea are recognized. The main taxa, the Atlantic herring, accounts for over half the world's commercial capture of herrings. Herrings played a pivotal role in the history of marine fisheries in Europe, and early in the twentieth century their study was fundamental to evolution of fisheries science. These oily fish also have a long history as an important food fish, and are often salted, smoked, or pickled.