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Profile updated on 13 April 2021
Falkland sprat, Sardina austral
(Galleguillos et al. 2012) studied the genetic structure of the Falkland sprat (Sprattus fuegensis) in its entire Chilean span, from the island of Chiloe, on the north, until the southern edge of the continent. The research concluded that it appears to be one only genetic pool and there are no differences in life parameters. Nevertheless, due to a high differentiation on stable isotopes, otoliths and body morphometry they suggest spatial segregation, with different reproductive origins but high connectivity. There seems to be a south-to-north migration that separates higher sizes between Chiloe's island and the continent (Galleguillos et al. 2012). A new study on the demographic situation of these stocks is being developed (FIPA 2018-38).
The sprat is captured in Aysén Region as part of a multispecific purse-seine fishery, together with the Anchoveta (Engraulis ringens) and the Araucanian herring (Strangomera bentincki) (Walker et al. 2020), but it actually represents 99% of the landings since 2005 (Castillo Pizarro et al. 2019). The fishery takes place in the Los Lagos Region as well, with higher landings and a more developed management structure.
The fishery, which is entirely artisanal, dedicates most of its captures to producing fishmeals and only 1% is reserved for human consumption (Subpesca 2020). Until 2006 this species was considered by the Chilean authorities as Araucanian herring (Aranis R et al. 2007), but since that year studies and statistics have undertaken separated paths (SERNAPESCA n.d.).
Image: Whitehead, P.J.P., 1985. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeoidei). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, shads, anchovies and wolf-herrings.