At http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/07/18/climate-change-baltic-herring-and-… … is a guest post by Tim Ball, a Canadian scientist that got on the wrong side of the Green Blob (some years ago now but his name still resonates with the doomsayers as an infidel and unbeliever. Actually, he has never done very much to dispute the science – he was miffed when the CAGW alarmists tried to airbrush the Medieval Warm Period out of history. It has since been brushed down, polished up, and reinstated – the evidence was overwhelming that it was a reality.
Herrings became a major food source in Scandinavia, Germany, and in all parts of north west Europe between the 13th and 16th centuries. This was the heyday of the Hanseatic League, an alliance of emporiums on the North Sea coast opposite England and Scotland, from the Netherlands to Denmark and the Baltic Sea lands. Herrings were popular in Britain too – but it was somewhat later that Arbroath Smokies and Kipper fillets were a preferred meal for large numbers of people. In contrast, on the continent, raw herring in vinegar became a speciality – but herrings were a meal that became popular as it provided the church with a substitute for meat on the hoof. during periods of fasting – and on Fridays of course. Salted Scandinavian herrings from the Baltic became a major trade item in the Hanseatic League – and they were sold on in all parts of Christian Europe. They were plentiful and cheap, and fetched a good price on the market (fetching good profits for the merchants of fish). Lubeck in Germany was at one time the major centre of the herring industry and Tin Ball's story claims there was a decline in Baltic stocks of herring (moving out to sea and therefore becoming more plentiful in British waters) as a result of the onset of the Little Ice Age. However, it was not just the cold, as it always gets cold during the Baltic winters. It was in fact, increased rainfall as a result of the Little Ice Age pattern of clouds and stormy weather. The Baltic is a shallow inland sea and heavy rainfall caused it to become less saline. Herrings like the water they live and breed in to be reasonably salty – which is why they removed themselves into the open sea. This has probably happened on many occasions during history – but we are only concerned here with the 16th and 17th centuries – which happened to coincide with a decline in the prosperity of the Hanseatic League.