South Brittany sardine purse seine
Certified as sustainable in August 2010.
Species: Sardine (Sardina pilchardus)
Location: Bay of Biscay: 0-12 nautical miles, in ICES zone VIIa and VIIe, south of 48°30' (northern limit) and north of the Bretagne and Pays de Loire border (southern limit).
Fishing methods: Purse seine (Bolinche).
Vessels: 20 active vessels (out of the 23 licenses granted in 2009).
Number of fisheries: 1
More about sardine
The Atlantic sardine is a small pelagic, neritic species with a diet consisting of phytoplankton and zooplankton, mainly copepods. The Bay of Biscay sardine measures 13 to 25 cm and has a lifespan of up to 10 years. Sexual maturity is reached at a size of between 10 and 20 cm and the species spawns throughout the year, with two peaks in spring and in autumn/winter. Individuals from spawning in spring and autumn are mature in spring and autumn respectively of the next year. A female can lay up to 60,000 pelagic eggs that float at a depth of between 10 and 70 m, hatch 2 to 4 days after being laid and give birth to larvae 4 mm long which produce juvenile sardine after 12 days. The juveniles then return near the coast and stay there until the start of winter.
The sardines caught by purse seiners are mostly 10 and 20 cm in size, with the smaller size being well suited to the cannery market, and the larger size to the fresh fish market. The 10/20 category, targeted by purse seiners, corresponds to adults with a size greater than 17 cm.
More about the fishing methods
The Purse seine fishing method is a common type of seine fishing, named such because along the bottom of the net are a number of rings. A rope passes through all the rings, and when pulled, draws the rings close to one another, preventing the fish from "sounding", or swimming down to escape the net. The purse seine is a preferred technique for capturing fish species which school, or aggregate, close to the surface such as sardines.
In 2009, the association’s annual catches were estimated to be around 20,000 metric tonnes.
The sardines landed are marketed in increasing order of importance as follows:
- As fresh round fish to wholesalers, supermarkets and fishmongers,
- To be frozen and,
- To canneries.
Frozen sardines together with some canned product are for the export market.
Actual eligibility date
9th December 2009