Sardine - Sardinops Sagax
Region of Origin
Mainly schools offshore, although inshore schools can sometimes occur, the fleet fishes within 30-50km off Port Lincoln.
Fast growing (4-6months)
Most sardine fishing activities are at night, making use of sonar to locate sardine schools. Once located nets are deployed and pursed around the schools of sardines. Live fish are pumped onto the vessels and immediately ice-slurried.
A great sustainable choice – fast growing, prolific breeding, plankton eating.
Feed on plankton
Fishing for Australian sardines is conducted over 12 months of the year in the Eyre Peninsula, with prime fishing months being November through July.
Winter – 8-12cm
Summer – 12-14cm
Methods to market
Whole – fresh or frozen
IQF – individually quick frozen
Packaged sardine fillets
Headed and gutted Australian sardines fresh or frozen
Handling and storage
Sardines should be handled with extreme care, their high fat content and fine bone structure make them quite fragile. Fresh sardines should be cleaned and stored on dry kitchen towel, on a rack atop ice, sitting in an air proof container. Frozen sardines should be thawed quickly (at room temperature) and used immediately.
Fresh v Frozen
For the premium experience use fresh, although contemporary processing delivers excellent, consistent quality in frozen product.
The flesh should be a brilliant, deep red with a translucent sheen
The fine bones structure allows the fish to be cooked on the bone or if filleted the back bone and rib cage can be easily removed
Flesh Fat Content
Winter – 8-10%
Summer – 10-12%
The aroma of good quality, fresh and freshly defrosted sardines should be clean with a cool metallic note and an iodine zing. The flavour should be rich and deep with a meaty, sesame nuttiness and long, lasting back palate with a drying salty finish.
The texture of a raw/marinated sardine should be soft and moist, when cooked they will display a firmness and crunch.
Yield from Whole Fish
The sardine is highly versatile. It’s high oil content and robust flavour make it ideal for marinated/raw preparations along with pan frying, grilling, frying and even BBQ (be careful not to overcook).
1. Select sardines that are
2. Remove head by cutting
3. Cut belly from head to
4. Trim pectoral fins using
5. Store cleaned whole
6. To fillet, run a sharp
7. Remove backbone and