Pacific Sardine (Sardinops sagax caerulea)
• Pacific sardine population levels are high, and no overfishing is occurring.
• The Pacific Fishery Management Council sets an annual quota for the harvest of Pacific sardine based on scientific assessments of the species.
• Sardines are very high in selenium and vitamin B12 and high in calcium, niacin, and phosphorus, but they are also high in cholesterol. For more information, see Nutrition Facts. (USDA)
• The Pacific sardine has experienced a remarkable comeback after populations dropped drastically in the 1950s. Today, this species and fishery are thriving once again.
The Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) was implemented in 1999 to manage Pacific sardines along with other coastal pelagic species. Pacific sardine is assessed annually to provide a scientific basis for the annual harvest guideline (quota) that is established by the Pacific Fishery Management Council for the U.S. fishery. The FMP also includes a limited entry program, provisions to reduce bycatch and bycatch mortality, and monitoring through logbook and observer programs. In 2003, Amendment 10 established a maximum fleet capacity for the CPS fishery, allowed the transfer of limited entry permits, and established criteria for issuing new permits. Amendment 11 was implemented in 2005, establishing the current framework for allocating the coastwide harvest.
Pacific sardine is a transboundary resource, meaning that these fish migrate across international boundaries. To ensure sustainability of the coastwide fishery, Mexico, Canada, and the United States are working to coordinate fishery management and science. The three countries meet annually at the Trinational Sardine Forum.