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Profile updated on 11 September 2023





Sardina pilchardus


European pilchard, Sardine, European sardine

European pilchard in the Adriatic Sea was previously assessed as Northern and Southern assessment units. Nevertheless, it was concluded that it is a single population with a high genetic flow (Ruggeri et al. 2013). Since 2014, and considering that many Italian vessels fish in GSA 17 but land in GSA 18, it is studied as a single assessment unit (AdriaMED 2015).

The fishery for small pelagic fish in the Adriatic Sea targets two species, the European anchovy, and the European pilchard. The fishery is managed through the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), with regulations and recommendations binding to all member states, including the European Community (GFCM n.d.). Management at the EU and national levels complement regional efforts. Members exploiting these stocks are Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Albania, and Montenegro (European Parliament 2022).


  • Members of the GFCM have to ensure the application of the Commission decisions and adopt them with legal instruments to later report to the Commission to assess the uniformity of implementation (GFCM n.d.).
  • EU countries are fully compliant with GFCM reporting data obligations and temporal closures (GFCM 2023)(SAC 2023).
  • The inner sea of Croatian waters is closed to vessels over 12 meters since 2015 (Cikes-Kec et al. 2021).


Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

< 6

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 6