The sardine belongs to the family Clupeidae, from the pelagic fish group (of the offshore marine areas); it is abundant and distributed worldwide. Its fishery is significant from an economic and food standpoint.
Sardines have slender, compact bodies, covered with delicate scales; their backs are blue-green, lateral and ventral regions of a bright silver tone, a rather prominent head and wide mouth; the dorsal fin is high and short, anal and caudal regions are notched low. The size of the species important to fishery ranges between 17 and 18 centimeters.
These fish live together in groups, forming huge schools that consume phytoplankton.
Sardines perform periodic migrations, conditioned to the type of food (during the late fall months) and mating time (from winter to spring), but the season may change depending on the species.
In Mexico the sardine fishery includes two major species, Monterrey sardine or Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax caerulea) and the sardina crinuda (Opistonema libertate). The most important is the Pacific sardine fishery, which annually comes to represent the highest percentage of this activity. Largest production is from May to July and September to October.
Fishing for these species has been increasing due to fleet growth, the use of refrigeration on vessels and the development of fishing port terminals that optimize marketing to reach sales markets in better hygienic and price conditions.
The largest fishery by volume in Mexico, i.e. the Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax caerulea) from the Gulf of California, has been certified according to the MSC independent standard assessment for being sustainable and well managed. To demonstrate the strength of the MSC process, which is open and transparent to all interested parties, a formal objection filed against the certification of the fishery has been resolved through consultations, clearing in this manner the path towards the certification of this fishing activity. Sardines are not only eaten fresh, but processed, both dried, salted, smoked cold or hot, and pickled. Besides, their canned version has become an important share of the canning industry.
Sardine in general is a food rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins A, D, B2, B3 and sodium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and iron. Frequent consumption helps to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels; it increases blood flow, which reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, thrombosis and prevents osteoporosis.
Sardines meat is intended mostly to be canned in oil or tomato sauce. We consume them in these presentations due to its taste, low cost and practicality, as stuffing for tortas or sandwiches, cold salads; they complement rice preparations, pozole or soupy stews. Sardines are offered fresh or frozen, to be roasted; when cooked they can be stuffing for antojitos or wheat flour patties.


Sardine tostadas