Crude and fatty acid composition analyses were performed on fillets, byproducts, and oil originating from herring (Clupea harengus) caught off the North Sea from June 1999 to January 2001. Monthly statistical differences were found in the fat content, the range of variation being larger in fillets than in byproducts. The most consistent change observed in fillets was an increase of unsaturation from May to September reflected in a reduced percentage of monounsaturated fatty acids, whereas for byproducts and oil this trend was not so well defined. The results indicated that the lowest values of the total amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in the oil were found from January to March (approximately 14%), coinciding with the postspawning and starvation period. In contrast, the highest values were found from June to August (approximately 23%). Thus, the herring byproducts are all year an adequate raw material for fish oil production; however, during the summer they are richer in PUFAs.