Capelin lives its life in shoals in the Barents Sea. It is a small fish, and similar in taste and texture to herring. Considered a delicacy in many regions around the world, it is a popular bar snack in Japan, where it is accompanied by cold beer. South Koreans prefer the capelin breaded and deep-fried.


Barents Sea

Maximum size

Up to 20 centimetres and 50 grams

Some alternative names

Latin: Mallotus villosus

English: Capelin

French: Capelan atlantique

German: Lodde

Nutritional value in 100 g raw capelin (edible part)

Energy: 779 kJ or 186 kcal



Protein: 17,5 g

Fat: 10,8 g

Saturated fatty acids: 2 g

Trans fatty acids: 0 g

Monounsaturated fatty acids: 5,6 g

Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 1,6 g

Cholesterol: 178 mg


Carbohydrates, in total: 0 g


Vitamin A: 101 µg

Vitamin D: 0 µg

Riboflavin: 0,27 mg

Foliate: 30 µg

Vitamin B12: 7 µg


Iron: 3,3 mg

Selenium: 0,04 µg

The capelin spawns in winter and early spring at depths of between 20 and 60 metres on sand and gravel seabeds in Finnmark, northern Troms and The Kola Peninsula. Eggs are secreted in the substrate until hatching in May and June. Capelin It have a very high mortality rate, with many dying after spawning, although surviving capelin can live for five years. Capelin is an important source of food for other species, especially cod and herring. Norway administers the capelin stick in the Barents Sea in cooperation with Russia.

Wild catch

Capelin is mainly caught in the winter between December and January and December. Most vessels use purse seine, although some use pelagic trawl when the capelin stocks are found closer k gets close to the shore.




Capelin is especially rich in:

  • Protein that builds and maintains every cell in the body.

More nutritional data can be found at