The capelin of lodde, Mallotus villosus Müller is a salmonoid teleost of great commercial importance, being caught in large quantities by Norway, Iceland, the U.S.S.R. and Canada. The species has a circumpolar distribution, is limited to high northern latitudes, and has been the subject of two major review articles (Templeman, 1948; Jangaard, 1974).
Most Norwegian capelin spawn sublittorally in the Barents Sea, but a population living in a long fjord near Tromsö in northern Norway (Balsfjord) spawns, like the Newfoundland capelin (Jeffers, 1931, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Toronto), between the tidemarks, their sticky eggs adhering to gravel, stones and weed. The capelin from Balsfjord appear to be separate from the Barents Sea stocks, and are now believed to remain within the fjord throughout their life history (Friis-Sörensen, 1983, unpublished Cand. real, thesis, University of Tromsö).