Australian Sardine

Australian Sardine

pinungana (Fish)
In palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aborigines, with thanks to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

Sardinops sagax (Australian Sardine)


2021/22 Sardine Status (Released March 24)

Summary There is effectively no current commercial fishing for Australian Sardine in Tasmanian waters, with all Developmental Australian Sardine Permits now expired. As such, the current level of fishing pressure in Tasmania is unlikely to cause the biological stock to become recruitment impaired. The species was classified as “Not overfished nor subject to overfishing” by ABARES in the Fishery Status Reports 2021 (Patterson et al. 2021). Similarly, all Australian stocks are currently classified as Sustainable in the 2020 Status of Australian Fish Stocks report (Piddocke et al. 2021)
Importance Minor
Stock Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery
Indicator(s) Catch, effort and CPUE trends; risk assessment of recruitment impairment
Managing Jurisdiction State (Tasmania)


Australian Sardine is a highly productive species with a wide range, inhabiting estuaries to the continental shelf in southern Australia, from Rockhampton, Queensland, to Shark Bay, Western Australia, including northern Tasmania (Edgar, 2008). The Tasmanian commercial fishery for Australian Sardine is under development. Australian Sardine is primarily captured using purse seine gear; however, some beach seine gear is also used to target this species. Holders of a general Scalefish Fishing Licence are entitled to a catch of 10 kg per trip. Australian Sardine is not a significant recreational species in Tasmania (Lyle et al. 2019).

The full 2021/22 Scalefish Assessment, released March 2024, can be found at the link:

Latest Scalefish Assessment

Learn more about what each stock status classification means on our Stock Status Classifications Information Page:

Stock Status Classifications

Learn more about fisheries terms and concepts on our Science Information page:

Science Terms and Concepts

Scalefish Fishery

Catch, Effort and CPUE

Risk-Based Framework

Social and Economic Indicators