Sardinella maderensis, Madeiran sardinella : fisheries, bait

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Sardinella maderensis (Lowe, 1838)

Madeiran sardinella
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Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
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Sardinella maderensis   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Sardinella maderensis (Madeiran sardinella)
Sardinella maderensis
Picture by Wirtz, P.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Clupeiformes (Herrings) > Clupeidae (Herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens) > Dorosomatinae
Etymology: Sardinella: Latin and Greek, sarda = sardine; name related to the island of Sardinia; diminutive (Ref. 45335).  More on author: Lowe.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; brackish; pelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 80 m (Ref. 27000).   Subtropical; 24°C - ? (Ref. 54872); 46°N - 23°S, 17°W - 36°E (Ref. 54872)

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Atlantic Ocean: southern and eastern parts of Mediterranean Sea, also penetrating the Suez Canal (Ref. 188, 50345), and eastern Atlantic Ocean, from Gibraltar southward to Angola and a single recorded specimen from Walvis Bay in Namibia (Ref. 188, 5286, 81269, 81631, 86940).

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 13.4, range 11 - 19.5 cm
Max length : 30.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 188); common length : 25.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 188); max. published weight: 927.00 g (Ref. 3808)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 18-23; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 17 - 23; Vertebrae: 44 - 48. Diagnosis: Body elongate, but variable in depth, belly fairly sharply keeled; with 14-20 pre-pelvic and 12-15 post-pelvic scutes, total scutes 31-34; lower gillrakers 70-166, increasing with growth; upper pectoral finrays white on outer side, the membrane between black (Ref. 188, 3259, 81269, 81631). It resembles Sardinella aurita, but pelvic fin with 1 unbranched and 7 branched rays vs. 1 unbranched and 8 branched rays in S. aurita and no black spot on hind part of gill cover, but faint gold or black area just behind gill opening (Ref. 187, 188). It is distinguished from S. rouxi by having more lower gillrakers, which is only 30-40 in S. rouxi, and the caudal fin grey, its tips almost black vs. pale yellow with distal margin dusky in S. rouxi (Ref. 187, 188, 81269).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

A coastal, pelagic species, but tolerant of low salinities (Ref. 188, 5286, 27000, 86940); sometimes in estuaries and lagoons (Ref. 188, 2683). It forms schools, preferring waters of 24°C, at surface or at bottom down to 50m, strongly migratory (Ref. 188, 5286). It feeds on a variety of small planktonic invertebrates, also fish larvae and phytoplankton (Ref. 188, 27165). It breeds only once in the year, during the warm season between July and September, in coastal waters; juveniles and adults show clear north-south migrations in the Gabon-Congo-Angola sector and the Sierra Leone-Mauritania sector of the Atlantic Ocean, each area having nurseries; these movements are correlated with the seasonal upwelling (Ref. 188). It is of considerable importance off West African coasts, but combined with Sardinella aurita in most statistics, partly because both species are often caught together (Ref. 188).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Whitehead, P.J.P., 1985. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeoidei). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, shads, anchovies and wolf-herrings. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(7/1):1-303. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 188)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A2d); Date assessed: 23 July 2014

CITES (Ref. 118484)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: highly commercial; bait: usually
FAO(fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FIRMS (Stock assessments) | FishSource | Sea Around Us

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Common names
Spawning aggregation
Egg development
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


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Internet sources

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 18 - 27.9, mean 21 °C (based on 208 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00813 (0.00660 - 0.01001), b=3.03 (3.00 - 3.06), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  3.2   ±0.38 se; based on food items.
Generation time: 3.3 (1.3 - 4.0) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 11 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.34; tm=3; tmax=6).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (33 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.