Are sardines sustainable?

Sustainable sardines are not available yet in Australia and New Zealand. They are widely available in Europe with the blue fish tick.

What are sardines?

Australian sardines (Sardinops sagax) are small fish, silver-white in colour with blue green backs. They are found in large schools in temperate waters around the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Sardines are packed with omega-3 and vitamin B12, and are enjoyed fresh, dried, salted or smoked. They are also widely used for bait, fish feed, and fish oil.

Check out our Sustainable Sardine Recipes

How do I know if sardines are sustainable?

Sardines carrying the MSC blue fish tick are certified sustainable. MSC labelled sardines come from a fishery that has been independently assessed to the MSC Fisheries Standard. Companies using the blue fish tick all along the supply chain have been assessed to ensure products can be traced back to an MSC certified fishery.

Why are there no sustainable sardines in Australia and New Zealand?

There are currently no sardine products with the blue fish tick available in Australia and New Zealand. Consumer demand is important. You can use your voice to ask your supermarket, fish shop or restaurant to consider stocking sardines with the MSC’s blue fish tick.

The South Australia Sardine Fishery was the first sardine fishery in the southern hemisphere to earn the MSC blue fish tick. It is the largest wild catch fishery in Australia by volume to be certified thanks to a joint commitment between the South Australian Sardine Industry Association and the Department of Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA). 

Sardine facts

The term 'sardine' was first used in English during the early 15th century and may come from the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, around which sardines were once abundant.

Explore more sustainable fish to eat

Find more sustainable seafood species that are MSC certified in Australia and New Zealand.

Explore the sustainable seafood guide.


Recipes spotlight

Sustainable seafood recipes

Chefs and seafood lovers from around the world share quick and tasty ways of cooking MSC certified seafood.

Check them out
10 reasons spotlight

10 reasons to choose the blue fish tick

Choose seafood which helps to protect oceans, livelihoods and fish for the future.

Find out more
Buy sustainable seafood

Buy sustainable seafood

Where to find the blue fish tick at supermarkets, fish shops and restaurants.

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