Latin names: Sardinops sagax
Common Names: Sardine, Pilchard
Wild Caught - Australia
- SA Sardine Fishery (32,000t 2011)
The Australian sardine is a small, very fast-growing fish. It is an important prey species for a range of predators, such as Australian fur seals and species of tuna. Sardines are mainly used to feed southern bluefin tuna farmed off the SA coast rather than for human consumption. There are concerns about the potential for localised stock depletions within the SA fishery, but managers are taking steps to address this.
Sardines are caught using purse seines in the SA fishery, which is a relatively targeted fishing method with little finfish bycatch. However, there are concerns over the accidental captures of common dolphins in the nets. While fishers and fishery managers have worked to decrease the number of interactions (for example a voluntary fishing Code of Practice is in place), a number of issues are outstanding. These include a lack of clarity about actual dolphin mortality as there are inconsistencies between fishing logbooks and independent observer reports. There is also uncertainty about the fishery's impacts on the overall dolphin population.