Capture method — Pelagic trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — English Channel
Stock detail —
The stock structure of sprat populations in the Celtic Seas Ecoregion is unknown. No reference points are defined for this stock. Fishing pressure is evaluated as increasing and stock size as decreasing. Sprat is short-lived and an important prey fish for many marine species. The effects of the sprat fishery on these species is unknown. Sprat is usually caught with bycatches of juvenile herring.
Sprat is a relatively short-lived species. It is one of the most important prey species in marine ecosystems, for both fish, seabirds and marine mammals. It is a pelagic inshore schooling species that can tolerate low salinities. Sprat migrates between winter feeding and summer spawning grounds. Moves to the surface at night. High resilience to fishing pressure. Maximum size 16 cm. Sprat are multiple batch spawners, with females spawning repeatedly throughout the spawning season (up to 10 times in some areas). Spawning occurs in both coastal and offshore waters, during spring and late summer, with peak spawning between May and June, depending on water temperature. Spawning generally takes place at night. Sprat generally first spawn at 2 years of age, though a small proportion of the population spawn at 1 year of age.
Criterion score: 1 info
Distinct sprat stocks exist in the North, Baltic and Celtic Seas, West of Scotland, English Channel and the Skagerrak and Kattegat areas. There is no formal stock assessment of the species in these areas except for the North and Baltic Seas. The stock structure of sprat populations in the Celtic Seas Ecoregion is unknown. No reference points are defined for this stock. Advice is based on biomass estimates from the acoustic survey which covers only part of the potential distribution of the stock in the area. The acoustic survey declined in 2015, and decreased significantly in 2016. The harvest rate index increased in 2016 due to a drop in the biomass index, while catches remained stable. Fishing pressure is evaluated as increasing and stock size as decreasing. ICES advises that when the precautionary approach is applied, catch in 2018 should be no more than 2354 tonnes.
Criterion score: 0.5 info
Sprat in ICES Areas VIId and VIIe is managed through Total Allowable Catch (TAC).
Criterion score: 0.25 info
In the Channel most of the sprat landings are taken by the English fleet for human consumption, and this is primarily carried out by midwater trawler which has negligible impact on the seabed. Small quantities of sprat are landed in the UK from inshore boats fishing artisanally.
Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below. Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.Anchovy, anchovies
Herring or sild
Salmon, Atlantic (Farmed)
Salmon, Chinook, King Salmon
Salmon, Chum, Keta, Calico or Dog salmon
Salmon, Coho , Silver, White
Salmon, Pink, Spring , humpback
Salmon, Sockeye , Red Salmon, Bluebacks, Redfish