Culture viability of Sardina pilchardus (Fish, Teleost): Preliminary results of growth in captivity up to 18 months


  • José Iglesias Instituto Español de Oceanografia (IEO), Centro Oceanográfico de Vigo
  • Lidia Fuentes Instituto Español de Oceanografia (IEO), Centro Oceanográfico de Vigo



Sardina pilchardus, sardine, culture viability, larval rearing, juvenile growth, feeding behaviour, swimming behaviour


Larvae of Sardina pilchardus were obtained in captivity from fertilized eggs captured in the wild and grown in a 10000-L tank. Isochrysis galbana, Artemia franciscana nauplii and live zooplankton were used as prey during the first two weeks; afterwards, the animals were fed on Artemia metanauplii enriched with Isochrysis galbana. A dry feed (Gemma 0.4 and 0.8) from Skretting S.A. (Burgos, España) was supplied from the 3rd to the 18th month. The total length reached by sardines at one year of life was 162.02±9.49 mm, corresponding to a wet weight of 36.12±10.82 g. Total length of the last survivor individual at 18 months was 182.37 mm. An 18-month experiment of sardine culture is described for the first time, and the growth data reported can help to determine its potential as a candidate for marine aquaculture.


Download data is not yet available.


Álvarez F. 2002. Crecimiento diario de Sardina pilchardus Walbaum, 1792 (Peces: Clupeidae) y su aplicación al estudio de procesos de reclutamiento. Doctoral Thesis. University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela.

Álvarez F., Alemany F. 1997. Birthday analysis and its application to the study of recruitment of the Atlanto-Iberian sardine Sardina pilchardus. Fish. Bull. 95: 187-194.

Blaxter J.H.S. 1969. Experimental rearing of pilchard larvae, Sardina pilchardus. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. UK 49: 557-575.

Cunha M.E., Garrido S., Pissarra J. 2005. The use of stomach fullness and colour indices to assess Sardina pilchardus feeding. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. UK 85: 425-431.

Garrido S. 2003. Alimentação de Sardina pilchardus (Walbaum, 1792) ao largo da costa continental portuguesa e implicações da condição nutritional das fêmeas na qualidade dos oócitos. MS Thesis, Inst. Ciênc. Biom. Abel Salazar (ICBAS), Porto.

Garrido S., Marcalo A., Zwolinski J., et al. 2007. Laboratory investigations on the effect of prey size and concentration on the feeding behaviour of Sardina pilchardus. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 330: 189-199.

Garrido S., Ben-Hamadou R., Oliveira P.B., et al. 2008. Diet and feeding intensity of sardine Sardina pilchardus: correlation with satellite-derived chlorophyll data. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 354: 245-256.

Gibson R.N., Ezzi I.A. 1990. Relative importance of prey size and concentration in determining the feeding behaviour of the herring Clupea harengus. Mar. Biol. 107: 357-362.

ICES. 2012. Report of the Working Group on Southern Horse Mackerel, Anchovy and Sardine (WGHANSA), 23-28 June 2012. Azores (Horta), Portugal. ICES CM 2012/ACOM: 16. 544 pp.

ICES. 2013. Sardine in subdivisions VIIIc and IXa. Advice 2013, Book 7.

Iglesias J., Lago M.A., Sánchez F.J., et al. 2010. Capture, transport and acclimatization to captivity of European hake, Merluccius merluccius L: preliminary data on feeding and growth. Aquac. Res. 41: 607-609.

Marcalo A., Pousao-Ferreira P., Mateus L., et al. 2008. Sardine early survival, physical condition and stress after introduction to captivity. J. Fish Biol. 72(1): 103-120.

Miranda A., Cal R.M., Iglesias J. 1990. Effect of temperature on the development of eggs and larvae sardine Sardina pilchardus Walbaum in captivity. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 140: 69-77.

Miranda A., Sánchez F.J., Iglesias J., et al. 1992. Crecimiento larvario de sardina Sardina pilchardus (Walb.). Inf. Téc. Inst. Espa-ol Ocean. 132, 15 pp. Madrid. ISSN: 02121565.

Olmedo M., Iglesias J., Peleteiro J.B., et al. 1990. Acclimatization and induced spawning of sardine Sardina pilchardus Walbaum in captivity. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 140: 61-67.

Parrish R.H., Serra R., Grant W.S. 1989. The monotypic sardines, Sardina and Sardinops. Their taxonomy, distribution, stock structure, and zoogeography. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 46(11): 2019-2036.

Peleteiro J.B., Marçalo A., Olmedo M., et al. 2004. Sardine tagging off the Iberian Peninsula: laboratory experiments and operations at sea. I.C.E.S. ASC CM 2004/Q20.

Pontual H., Bertignac M., Battaglia A., et al. 2003. A pilot tagging experiment on European hake (Merluccius merluccius): methodology and preliminary results. I.C.E.S. J. Mar. Sci. 60: 1318-1327.

Riveiro I., Santos M.B., Silva A. 2012. Current knowledge on Iberian sardine (Sardina pilchardus) stock identity. Working Document to Benchmark Workshop on Pelagic Stocks, Copenhagen, February 2012.

Russell F.R.S. 1976. The Eggs and Planktonic Stages of British Marine Fishes. Academic Press Inc. (London) Ltd. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 75-19670. ISBN: 0-12 604050-8. Printed in Great Britain by The Whitefriars Press Ltd. London and Tonbridge.

Silva A., Miranda A. 1992. Laboratory rearing of sardine larvae (Sardina pilchardus) and early effects of starvation: a preliminary experiment. Bol. Inst. Esp. Oceanogr. 8(1): 163-174.



How to Cite

Iglesias J, Fuentes L. Culture viability of Sardina pilchardus (Fish, Teleost): Preliminary results of growth in captivity up to 18 months. Sci. mar. [Internet]. 2014Sep.30 [cited 2024Jul.24];78(3):371-5. Available from: