Sardines (Latin: Sardina pilchardus) belong to the herring family. They are an important edible fish. Their habitat extends from the North-East Atlantic and the North Sea to Senegal. In the Mediterranean, they are found mainly in the west.
As migratory fish, they travel in huge shoals and are dubbed the nomads of the seas. They feed mainly on tiny crustaceans, fish spawn and larvae.
Sardines live at depths of up to 60 metres. At night, however, they swim closer to the surface and spend the night at a depth of 15 to 30 metres.
Sardines have a long, stretched-out body. Their backs are a greenish or blueish colour and they have a silver belly. Sardines have 30 big silver scales along the centre of their bodies.
Sardines are always cooked whole. They taste superb both fried and grilled. They are not suitable for poaching.However, the best-known preparation method for sardines is still preserving them in oil.
Flavour and texture
Sardines have an extremely tangy, strong flavour.
Encircling nets and hoisting nets
Encircling nets are large nets with a floating line that keeps the top of the net on the surface. The bottom rope is weighted with lead. Encircling nets are used to catch schooling fish.
Shoals of fish are encircled from both sides and from below. The shoal becomes enclosed and is heaved on board. With a few exceptions, these nets are used on the surface.
Hoisting nets are horizontal pieces of net or net sacks with an opening at the top. They can be dropped to varying depths, where they are left for a while. The fish are attracted by bait or light. Once enough fish are within the area of the net, it is lifted out of the water.
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