Sarda sarda


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Sarda sarda
Species Authority: (Bloch, 1793)
Common Name(s):
English Atlantic Bonito
Spanish Bonito del Atlántico, Bonito, Bonito Atlántico, Bonitol, Bonitu, Cabaña Blanca, Cabaña Cariba, Cabaña de Dientes, Cerda
French Bonite à dos Rayé, Pélamide, Bonite
Sarda pelamis Brünnich, 1768
Scomber mediterraneus Bloch & Schneider, 1801
Scomber palamitus Rafinesque, 1810
Scomber ponticus Pallas, 1814
Scomber sarda (Bloch, 1793)
Thynnus brachypterus Cuvier, 1829
Taxonomic Notes:

There is some genetic differentiation between samples from the Atlantic and those from the Mediterranean, but not at the species level (Vinas et al. 2010).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-09-14
Assessor(s): Collette, B., Amorim, A., Boustany, A., Carpenter, K., Dooley, J., Fox, W., Fredou, F., Fritzsche, R., Graves, J., Hazin, F., Herdson, D., Juan Jorda, M.J., Leite, N., Lessa, R., Matsuura, K., Minte-Vera, C., Nelson, J., Nelson, R., Oxenford, H. & Travassos, P.
Reviewer(s): Collen, B., Beresford, A., Cherney, A., Dewhurst, N., Ram, M., Russell, B. & Polidoro, B.
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, H., Lutz, M., Batchelor, A., Jopling, B., Kemp, K., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Sears, J., Wilson, P. & Smith, J. and Livingston, F.
This is a very widespread species that is fairly fast growing and abundant in many areas. It has been caught in both commercial and recreational fisheries for a long period of time with no evident overall population declines. Therefore, this species is listed as Least Concern.
For further information about this species, see TUNAS_SkiJumpEffect.pdf.
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2010 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The range of Sarda sarda extends from Norway to South Africa, including the Mediterranean and Black Sea in the eastern Atlantic, and from Nova Scotia to the northern Gulf of Mexico in the western Atlantic. While it generally does not appear in the Caribbean Sea, it has been found in Colombia and Venezuela (Collette and Nauen 1983). This species has not been recorded in northeast and central Brazil but occurs in south Brazil to Argentina.

Report from the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) also list this species from the Lesser Antilles north to the US Virgin Islands (Oxenford pers. comm. 2010), but these records need to be verified (Collette pers. comm. 2010).
Albania; Algeria; Angola (Angola); Argentina; Belgium; Benin; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Brazil; Bulgaria; Cameroon; Canada; Cape Verde; Colombia; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Cuba; Cyprus; Denmark; Equatorial Guinea; Finland; France; Gabon; Gambia; Georgia; Germany; Ghana; Gibraltar; Greece; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Jamaica; Lebanon; Liberia; Malta; Mauritania; Mexico; Monaco; Morocco; Namibia; Netherlands; Nigeria; Norway; Portugal; Puerto Rico; Russian Federation; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Slovenia; South Africa; Spain; Sweden; Syrian Arab Republic; Togo; Trinidad and Tobago; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom; United States (Georgia); Uruguay; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – eastern central; Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – southwest; Atlantic – western central; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Sarda sarda is considered to be abundant in many localities. FAO statistics (2008) show that landings have fluctuated with no apparent increasing or decreasing trends between around 21,000 mt and 84,000 mt between 1996 and 2006. This pattern extends as far back as 1950.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This species is a small epipelagic, neritic species that occurs in schools. It sometimes enters estuaries and has a depth range of 0–200 m. It can adapt to gradual but not sudden changes in the environment and may occur in water temperatures between 12 and 27°C and salinities between 14 and 39. It preys upon sardines, squid, anchovy, mackerel and other small fishes (Collette 2003). This species is migratory (Sabates and Recasens 2001) and spawning season and size of maturity varies between regional populations (Valeiras and Abad 2006). In most parts of the Mediterranean, it spawns between May and July but off Algeria spawning extends to July. In the northwestern Atlantic, it spawns in June and July.

The all-tackle game fish record is of an 8.3 kg fish caught off Faial Island in the Azores in 1953 (IGFA 2011).

Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

This species is an important food fish, targeted by a number of fisheries throughout its range. It is particularly important in the Mediterranean and Black seas where it is taken by trap net, ring net, gillnet, trammel net, purse seine, beach seine, and hook and line (Demir 1963).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Sarda sarda is harvested in various parts of its range, with the most important fishery being that in the Mediterranean and Black Seas (FAO 2008). Turkey and Mexico landed the highest tonnage of this species: 17,900 t and 2,314 t respectively. Oray et al. (2004) have noted that the majority of fish landed in Turkey are below mature size, indicating that the stock will be unable to renew or sustain itself long-term. This species comprises an important fishery in Argentina (Hansen 1987).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place.

Citation: Collette, B., Amorim, A., Boustany, A., Carpenter, K., Dooley, J., Fox, W., Fredou, F., Fritzsche, R., Graves, J., Hazin, F., Herdson, D., Juan Jorda, M.J., Leite, N., Lessa, R., Matsuura, K., Minte-Vera, C., Nelson, J., Nelson, R., Oxenford, H. & Travassos, P. 2011. Sarda sarda. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 02 September 2015.
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