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Sardinops sagax ssp. sagax

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII CLUPEIFORMES CLUPEIDAE

Scientific Name: Sardinops sagax ssp. sagax
Species Authority: (Jenyns, 1842)
Parent Species:
-
Common Name(s):
English South American Pilchard, Blue Pilchard, Californian Pilchard, California Pilchard, California Sardine, Chilean Pilchard, Chilean Sardine, Japanese Pilchard, Mulies, Pacific American Sardine, Pacific Sardine, Picton Herring, Pilchard, Sardina, Smig, Australian Pilchard, Spotlined Sardine, Blue-bait
French Pilchard du Japon, Hareng, Pilchard de Californie, Pilchard de l'Afrique australe, Pilchard sudaméricain, Pilchard sudamèricain, Sardine du Pacifique, Sardinops d'Afrique du Sud, Sardinops d'Australie, Sardinops du Chili, Sardinops du Japon
Spanish Pilchard california, Pilchard chileña, Sardina, Sardina común, Sardina de Africa austral, Sardina de California, Sardina española, Sardina japonesa, Sardina Monterey, Sardina monterrey, Sardina pelada, Sardina peruana, Sardina sudafricana, Sardina sudamericana
Synonym(s):
Alausa californica Gill 1862
Alosa musica Girard 1855
Arengus sagax (Jenyns 1842)
Clupanodon caeruleus (Girard 1854)
Clupea advena Philippi 1879
Clupea caerulea Mitchill 1815
Clupea lata Richardson and Gray 1843
Clupea melanosticta Temminck and Schlegel 1846
Clupea neopilchardus Steindachner 1879
Clupea ocellata Pappe 1853
Clupea sagax Jenyns 1842
Meletta caerulea Girard 1854
Sardina caerulea (Mitchill 1815)
Sardina neopilchardus (Steindachner 1879)
Sardinops caerulea (Girard 1854)
Sardinops caeruleus (Girard 1854)
Sardinops melanostictus (Temminck and Schlegel 1846)
Sardinops neopilchardus (Steindachner 1879)
Sardinops ocellata (Pappe 1853)
Sardinops ocellatus (Pappe 1853)
Sardinops sagax subspecies neopilchardus (Steindachner, 1879)
Sardinops sagax caeruleus (Girard 1854)
Sardinops sagax melanosticta (Temminck and Schlegel 1846)
Sardinops sagax musica (Girard 1855)
Sardinopus melanostictus (Temminck and Schlegel 1846)
Taxonomic Notes: Subspecies Sardinops sagax sagax is not universally recognized. A recent genetic analysis (Grant et al. 1998) of the status of Sardinops populations indicates that there are three subspecies: S. s. ocellatus from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, S. s. sagax from the southeastern and northeastern Pacific, and S. s. melanostictus from the northwest Pacific. Other authors consider each subspecies as a valid species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-04-30
Assessor(s): Iwamoto, T. & Eschmeyer, W.
Reviewer(s): Carpenter, K., Polidoro, B. & Livingstone, S. (Global Marine Species Assessment Team)
Justification:
This subspecies has a wide distribution in the Eastern Pacific, has no major threats, and occurs in several Marine Protected Areas. Therefore, it is listed as Least Concern. However, further studies are needed to determine current population trends as some catch statistics indicate that it may be declining.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This subspecies is found from primarily in temperate waters throughout the entire eastern Pacific (Parrish et al. 1989).
Countries:
Native:
Argentina; Canada; Chile; Colombia; Ecuador; Mexico; Peru; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northeast; Pacific – southeast
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: No population data is available for this subspecies.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This is a coastal fish that forms large schools (Whitehead 1985). It is found at depths to 200 m. In the California region, Pilchards make northward migrations early in the summer and travel back south again in autumn. With each year of life, the migration becomes longer (Hart 1973). In the Gulf of California, some individuals spawn in their first year, but most spawn in their second year (Whitehead 1985). In Australia (as Sardinops neopilchardus), it breeds in spring and summer in the southern part of its range, and in summer and autumn in the northern part. This is apparently related to seasonal movement of the limiting isotherms, occurring in autumn to early spring. It was believed that individual Australian Pilchards only spawn once or twice in a season (Blackburn 1960), but research on related species suggests that they may spawn a number of times (Hunter and Goldberg 1980). Batch fecundities range from about 10,000 eggs in 13 cm long females to about 45,000 eggs in females of about 18 cm (Fletcher and Tregonning 1992). It feeds on zooplankton and other small invertebrates, and it has pelagic eggs and larvae.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Currently, there are no major threats to this subspecies. However, ENSO and fishing pressure may cause future declines.

Widespread hypoxia and massive eruptions of noxious, radiatively active gases currently characterize the world's strongest eastern ocean upwelling zone. A theory supported by modelling results and observations, suggests that the world's coastal upwelling zones will undergo progressive intensification in response to greenhouse gas buildup. This presents the prospect of progressive development of similarly degraded marine ecosystems in additional regions, and the prospect of a contributing feedback loop involving associated additions to the global buildup rate of greenhouse gases. This would result in further increases in upwelling intensity and the creation of additional sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Abundant sardine stocks of this subspecies that are exposed to fishing pressure might be a mitigating factor opposing the process, but at the same time the populations are collapsing. (Bakun and Weeks 2004)

The fishing of this pelagic fish started in 1950, and reached a peak of captures of >12 million t. A combined effect of a strong ENSO in 1972/1973, overfishing and possibly other large-scale oceanographic changes in the Humbolt current region, led to a collapse of the population of this sardine that was one of the more dominant fish. During early 1980, pelagic harvests remained low, but following the 1984 ENSO event, harvests rose again. In 1994, harvests reached the level of year 1972. Until 1991, the harvests were around 3.0 million t, but the harvest of this sardine had already recently decreased in this region in 1999 to very low values of 300,000 t. It seems that ENSO may have positive and negative effects on the population. Changes in world atmospheric circulation patterns, possibly a consequence of global warming, have been proposed to have effects on its population as well (Wolff et al. 2003).

This subspecies is important for commercial fisheries. It is used for fishmeal and oil. The main area of harvesting is the northeastern Pacific in Mexico. The harvest was around 4,189,889 t in 1990 and seines were the primary catching method (Bianchi et al. 1993). It is marketed fresh, frozen or canned, and is typically utilized for fishmeal, but is also eaten fried and broiled (FAO 1992).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures for this subspecies. However, its distribution includes a number of Marine Protected Areas in the central tropical eastern Pacific region.

Citation: Iwamoto, T. & Eschmeyer, W. 2010. Sardinops sagax ssp. sagax. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 July 2014.
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