First Choice
Scientific name
Sardina pilchardus
Production method
Midwater otter trawls
IUCN status
Least concern
Stock status

The stocks of this species are considered non-fully exploited. Regulatory measures are in accordance with scientific advice. However, several shortcomings, such as coordination of regional surveys, still need to be resolved. Management plans for shared resources, such as small pelagics, are currently being developed.

Ecological effects

Overall, there is a lack of information on the impact of midwater otter trawls on endangered, threatened, protected (ETP) species of sea turtles and birds and cetaceans. Bycatch of cetaceans and bird is of concern. Discard rate of this fishery and bycatch rates are low. The fishery is not causing significant negative ecosystem changes. Habitat damage does not occur as midwater otter trawls used adequately have no or only very little contact to the seafloor.


Management is partially effective. Several measures have been enacted in Moroccan water to ensure proper management of the small pelagic stocks A major issue is the scarcity of information on ETP species. Morocco does not report cetaceans bycatch estimates, neither are there studies on birds and turtle bycatch by midwater otter trawls.