Traceable Species

Pacific Sardine

Pilchard, California Sardine, California Pilchard, Sardina, Sprats, Brisling, Iwashi (Sushi)

Pacific Sardine

Pacific sardines, also known as pilchards, are a very important part of the oceanic food chain and can form schools of up to10 million fish. They are found from southeastern Alaska to the Gulf of California, Mexico as well as Peru and Chile. They prefer warmer water and live in the pelagic zone of the water column in nearshore and offshore areas all along the coast.

The Pacific sardine has an elongated body that is silver in colour with dark blue on the back and shades of purple and violet along the sides. Black spots dot its back and sides, and the tail is forked. The sardine’s head is compressed and has a small mouth containing no teeth. Small, fresh sardines have a delicate sweet flavour while larger sardines have a more full oily flavour. Grilling sardines with olive oil, lemon and salt is all it takes to enjoy the rich flavor. 

Pacific Sardine

Off the coast of California, Pacific sardines spawn year round and can even spawn multiple times per season. Spawning occurs in in the upper 165 feet of the water column and as far as 100 miles offshore. The eggs are fertilized externally and single large female can produce up to 200,000 eggs per season. The eggs hatch near the surface within three days and the young fish journey inwards to gather in schools by the beach. Females grow faster than males and some individuals mature within the first year. Having no teeth, Pacific sardine are filter feeders consuming small planktonic copepods and crustaceans. They can grow up to 12 inches long and have been found to live as long as 13 years. Pacific sardines are an integral part of the marine food web providing food for many marine birds, fishes and mammals.

Food Info Pacific Sardine


  • Colour: whitish 
  • Texture: delicate small flakes
  • Flavour: Small sardines have a delicate flavor while larger sardines have a fuller, oilier flavor.
  • Perfect serve: Grill them of course! Grilled over charcoal with olive oil lemon and salt is all you need.
Species Range
Pacific Sardine range Source:
California Sardine
California Pilchard
Iwashi (Sushi)
These crabs mate at the time of maturity, which is approximately 3 years of age. Females are smaller than males; this is because the development of reproductive tissues required more energy for females, leaving less energy available for continued body growth. They grow through a process known as molting—regularly shedding their shell and growing a new, larger one. They continue to molt and grow after they have reached sexual maturity. During the breeding season, the crabs leave their borrows in a phenomenon characterized by mass mate-searching events. Once mating/fertilization has occurred, females spawns in the water. The larvae released during the rainy season develop in offshore waters and return to coastal waters five to eight weeks after larval release.
Mangrove crabs are important fishery resources in all Brazilian coast, mainly in the north and northeast where many fishermen depend upon their catch. In addition to its social and economic importance, the mangrove crab is a “keystone” species in ecosystem, they playing an important role in the processes of nutrient cycling and energy transfer.

Fishing Methods

{'fisheries': [<License: Californian Sardine by Seine>], 'gear': <Gear: Coastal Pelagic Seine>}

Coastal Pelagic Seine

Fish harvesters encircle a large wall of netting around schools of coastal pelagic fish like sardine, anchovies, mackerel and herring and pull the bottom of the netting closed, like a drawstring purse, to capture the fish.


Featured Harvester Bernie Berry

Mangrove Crab Harvester

Canavieiras, Brazil

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