Bacterial strains (120) were isolated from fresh, spoiled, VP-packed and MAP-packed herring. Identified bacterial strains were investigated for their abilities to produce biogenic amines in histidine, lysine and ornithine decarboxylase broth by a rapid high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method. The microflora of fresh herring was dominantly Pseudomonas (30%), Enterobacteriaceae (23.2%), Vibrio (13.3%) and Moraxella (13.3%) but, the microflora of herring stored in VP and MAP was dominated by species belonging to Vibrio (23.3%) and Moraxella (20%), which indicates that these packaging systems prevented the growth of Pseudomonas and Enterobacteriaceae. In a laboratory medium containing amino acid (histidine, ornithine and lysine), most of bacterial strains produced histamine, putrescine and cadaverine. The highest histidine decarboxylase activities were observed in Klebsiella oxytoca, Hafnia alvei and Proteus vulgaris which produced 396, 232 and 54 mg histamine/L, respectively in histidine-enriched broth. The accumulation of cadaverine by Klebsiella oxytoca and Hafnia alvei was 325 and 208 mg/l, respectively. All strains isolated produced putrescine in an ornithine-enriched broth, ranging from 3 to 249 mg/l. The production of putrescine by Klebsiella oxytoca and Hafnia alvei was 249 and 195 mg/l, respectively. Moraxella spp and Acinetobacter spp did not produce histamine which indicates they did not have histidine decarboxylase activity.