Pacific Sardine

Sardinops sagax caerulea

Also Known As

Pilchard, California sardine, California pilchard, Sardina, Sardine

Commercial fishing for Pacific sardines is prohibited because the population is estimated to be below a precautionary level set by managers.



Usually year-round, but currently unavailable because the fishery is closed


U.S. wild-caught from Washington to California.


When fresh, small sardines have a delicate flavor. Larger sardines have a fuller, oilier flavor, similar to anchovies but milder. If buying fresh, look for sardines with bright eyes, shiny skin, and a mildly fishy aroma. Plan to cook them within a day of purchase.


Firm when canned; soft when fresh.


Pale red to off-white.

Health Benefits

Sardines are a very good source of selenium and vitamin B12 and a good source of calcium, niacin, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Health & Nutrition

Nutrition facts

Serving weight 100 g
Amount per serving
Calories 217
Protein 24.58 g
Fat, total 12.37 g
Saturated fatty acids, total 2.791 g
Carbohydrate 0 g
Sugars, total 0 g
Fiber, total dietary 0 g
Cholesterol 82 mg
Selenium 52.6 mcg
Sodium 918 mg

Seafood Guide