The Bristling sardine, also known as European sprat, is a migratory, ocean-dwelling fish that can be found in the Northeast Atlantic from the North Sea southward to Morroco and the Mediterranean and Black Sea. These fish form in schools at depths between 25 to 100 metres during the day, rising to 10 to 35 metres at night.
The body of the Bristling sardine is bright silver and nearly cylindrical, with a rounded belly. It is usually cooked whole once gutted, and is great on the barbeque.
The Bristling sardine breeds at 20 to 25 metres below sea level, ranging from the shore to as far as 100 km out to sea. They breed in April in the English Channel, June to August in the North and Black Seas, September to May off the European coasts of the Mediterranean, and November to June off the African coasts of the Mediterranean. The Bristling sardine feeds mainly on planktonic crustaceans, but also larger organisms.
Mid-water Pair Trawl
This fishery uses a large cone-shaped net that is towed simultaneously by two vessels at the appropriate level in the water column to catch schools of sardines. The two vessels synchronize their speed and distance apart to keep the net open.