Sardines are small silvery, fast growing fish that form large schools and are caught mainly off the western Agulhas Bank. Living at a depth of about 40m deep at temperatures of 16° to 23° C in the Summer and 10° to 18° C in the Winter with purse-seine nets being the most popular method of targeting these fish.
Sardines are usually purchased in a whole round form and sold in 5 kg net weight boxes. This fish has been immensely popular among many African countries as a cheaper source of protein.
Add sardines and chopped garlic in a sauté pan with a bit of olive oil on medium heat is delicious. With your favourite pasta toss the sardines and garlic for a superb dish European dish. Many African countries salt and dry the sardines to form a staple form of cheap protein.
Within South Africa the fish stocks are closely monitored by using a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) limit, access rights and vessel permits. Typically purse-seine nets do not affect the ocean bottom habitats though bycatch of other small pelagic fish does occur and often consists of anchovy, herring and horse mackerel. Total allowed limits for by catch are put in place to reduce the amount kept.