Sardine, Atlantic – East Atlantic (excluding the Mediterranean Sea)
Sardines are a pelagic, schooling fish (meaning they swim in groups near the surface) which grow fast and become sexually mature within two years.
Sardines are an important commercial species in the eastern Atlantic, off the European and African coasts. Total annual catch is approximately 1 million tons, with many populations having low levels of abundance with some overexploited. Management measures are in place throughout their range, but it is unclear whether the current measures will meet sustainability goals.
Most Sardines are caught using purse seines and pelagic trawls, which cause minimal habitat damage. The level of bycatch in these fisheries is not known, but is likely moderate.
Sardines caught in the Mediterranean Sea are assessed in a separate report.