Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Clupeiformes
(Herrings) > Clupeidae
(Herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens)
Etymology: Sardina: Latin and Greek, sarda = sardine; name related to the island of Sardinia (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; pelagic-neritic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 10 - 100 m (Ref. 5286), usually 25 - 100 m (Ref. 54866). Subtropical; 68°N - 14°N, 32°W - 43°E (Ref. 54866)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 14.8  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 27.5 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 74552); common length : 20.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 188); max. reported age: 15 years (Ref. 35388)
soft rays: 12 - 23. Body sub-cylindrical, belly rather rounded (but more compressed in juveniles). Hind margin of gill opening smoothly rounded (without fleshy outgrowths) ; 3 to 5 distinct body striae radiating downward on lower part of operculum; lower gill rakers not becoming shorter at angle of first gill arch, the upper series not overlapping the lower. Last 2 anal fin rays enlarged.
Northeast Atlantic: Iceland (rare) and North Sea, southward to Bay de Gorée, Senegal. Mediterranean (common in the western part and in Adriatic Sea, rare in the eastern part), Sea of Marmara and Black Sea.
Littoral species (Ref. 6808). Form schools, usually at depths of 25 to 55 or even 100 m by day, rising to 10 to 35 m at night. Feed mainly on planktonic crustaceans, also on larger organisms. Spawn in batches (Ref. 51846), in the open sea or near the coast, producing 50,000-60,000 eggs with a mean diameter of 1.5 mm (Ref. 35388). Marketed fresh, frozen or canned. Also utilized dried or salted and smoked; can be pan-fried, broiled and microwaved (Ref. 9988).
Whitehead, P.J.P., 1985. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeioidei). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, shads, anchovies and wolf-herrings. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(7/1):1-303. Rome: FAO.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: highly commercial
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.0000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00716 (-0.01617 - 0.03048), b=3.06 (3.05 - 3.08), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.1 ±0.2 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.23-0.5; tm=1-2; tmax=15).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (36 of 100) .