Portuguese Sardine

(Sardina pilchardus)

European pilchard

1. What is it?

Portuguese Sardine ( Sardina pilchardus ) are small, fast growing fish that form large schools and are considered to be moderately vulnerable to high fishing pressures. Stock levels remain low despite a reduction in fishing pressure. Although there are several improvements regarding stock, limited data and increasing catch trends leaves this fishery under risk of uncertainty.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Portuguese sardines are caught using purse-seine nets which are set around a school of fish in the surface to mid-water. Once the school is surrounded, the bottom of the net is closed by a footrope. The impact on endangered, threatened or protected species is unlikely and discarding of non-target species is thought to be low however concern remains regarding the impact on dolphins and vulnerable bird species. The proportion of juvenile sardines caught within the fishery has increased. There is very little impact on the benthic environment and species.

3. Where is it from?

Portuguese Sardine are caught along the coast of Portugal (FAO 27) and imported into South Africa. Some area specific management measures are in place; however effectiveness is unknown and recovery of stock remains uncertainty.