Sardine populations appear to be abundant and healthy and are a best choice.
The name “sardine” is applied to many small fishes of the herring family, but most commonly refers to the Pacific sardine. Sardine is known as iwashi when prepared for sushi.
These fishes reproduce rapidly and travel in gigantic schools, but their success depends strongly on a favorable marine environment.
Pacific sardines once supported one of the largest and most profitable fisheries in the U.S., but by the late 1940s, the fish were virtually gone. Although overfishing most likely increased this decline, the dramatic decrease was later found to be part of a natural sardine “boom and bust” cycle which occurs every 30 to 40 years in the Pacific - when a change in water temperature and oceanic conditions favors either sardines or anchovies.
Sardines have made a comeback — good news for people who enjoy these tasty fish, and for the many kinds of seabirds, marine mammals, and other fish in the food web that rely on sardines.
Scientific Reports About Our Ratings
Sardines Seafood Watch Report
via Monterey Bay Aquarium