FISHERY PROFILE

European Sardine by Gill Net

Galicia, Spain — Ría de Arousa

PRIMARY SPECIES:

Atlantic Lobster

FISHERY OPENINGS:

APRIL 23-JULY 5

Sardine Gill Net

Fish harvesters use a small-scale harvesting method, called Xeito in Galician, involving curtains of netting suspended by a system of floats and weights to catch sardines. The fine netting is almost invisible, so sardines unwittingly swim into the mesh. As they try to back out, their gill covers get snagged and the fish becomes entangled in the net and are hauled aboard.

Harvesting Method

Sardine Gill Net

Gillnetting is an effective and selective method of harvesting sardines. Vessels are small with outboard motors and a small crew. Gillnetters set their nets in estuaries or coastal inlets at night attempting to catch the sardines. They soak the net in the ocean for about an hour and then haul it aboard with their catch of sardines. The sardines are picked from the net one by one. Fish harvesters bring their catches to the local auction each morning.

Sardine Gill Net
Fish are the gill-bearing aquatic craniate animals

There are 419 vessels permitted to catch sardines in Galicia. About 122 of these vessels use gill nets or the "Xeito" methods. These small gill-net vessels catch about 29 percent of all the sardines in Galicia.

Conservation Measures

Gillnetting has a low impact on marine. A number of controls address conservation in the sardine gillnet fishery. These include:

  • monthly and annual catch limits
  • limitation on number of licensed fishing vessels;
  • restrictions on landing small fish;
  • seasonal closures for conservation purposes;
  • minimum mesh sizes on nets;
  • restrictions on the length and height of nets; and
  • strict monitoring and recording of catch at local government auctions called “Lonxa”

In this lobster fishing area, fish harvesters actively participate in scientific data collection and research such as:

  • a comprehensive data collection system on catches
  • scientific sampling of lobsters at sea
  • maintaining catch logbooks and scientific field notebooks
FISHERY DETAILS

Galicia, Spain

MAP
ECO-RATINGS / CERTIFICATIONS

pescadeRías - Certified

FISHERY OPENINGS

Jun 01 - Oct 31

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

The fishery is managed by the government of the autonomous region of Galicia in Spain. For more information, visit the Galician Ministry of Sea.

Harvesting Area

The Ría de Arousa is the largest of five saline estuaries, or ria, along the Galician coast of Spain.

Members

Food Info European Sardine


TASTING NOTES

  • Colour: whitish 
  • Texture: delicate small flakes
  • Flavour: Small pilchards have a delicate flavor while larger pilchards have a fuller, oilier flavor. 
  • Perfect serve: Grill them of course! Grilled over charcoal with olive oil lemon and salt is all you need.
HOW TO CHOOSE A QUALITY EUROPEAN SARDINE