Latin names: Sardinops sagax
Common Names: Sardine, Pilchard
Wild Caught - Australia
- WA South Coast Purse-seine Fishery (1,983t 2013)
The Australian sardine is a small, very fast-growing fish. It is a prey species for a range of predators, such as Australian fur seals and species of tuna.
Sardines are caught using purse seines in the Western Australian fishery, which is a relatively targeted fishing method with little finfish bycatch. However, there are concerns over the accidental capture and drowning of flesh-footed shearwaters by the fishery. Flesh-footed shearwaters are a migratory species listed under environmental protection laws in Australia. Mortalities as a result of fishing activity are likely driving population declines on some islands that house breeding populations of flesh-footed shearwaters off the WA coast. Voluntary measures have been brought in to address bycatch issues, but it is not clear if these are effective.
NOTE: The smaller volume Australian sardine purse seine fishery that operates out of Fremantle has not been assessed and is not included in this ranking.