Wild Shellfish Alert - Do not eat wild shellfish from areas in and around Spring Bay and the Mercury Passage in South East Tasmania.
Most scalefish are measured from the nose to the end of the tail. Get your scalefish measuring ruler or sticker at any Service Tasmania outlet.
pilchard, mulie, blue pilchard, bluebait, Australian pilchard
Has a blue-green upper surface and is silver below with a series of dark spots high on the sides. There are no scales on the head and the sides are covered by poorly attached scales. It has a single dorsal fin with soft rays.
The catch limit applies to the bait fish group which includes anchovies, hardyheads, sprats and sardines. If beach seine netting, bunt nets up and empty into the water to return any unwanted fish. Care must be taken not to target schools as these fish die quickly when trapped, resulting in wastage.
Found in bays and open seas from depths of 0-100 metres. Schools shoal and spawn near the water surface in spring and summer and move into deeper water in other seasons.
A popular bait due to the extremely oily nature of the flesh. Used by anglers for catching species such as Australian salmon, snapper and tailor. Becoming increasing popular as an eating fish.
Will shed scales and die quickly when taken out of the water so should be chilled rapidly to prevent deterioration.
Whole fish should be scaled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly. There are many small, soft bones and large scales, both of which are easily removed. The edible skin can be left on. Sardines have a strong flavour and moist, oily, soft reddish-brown flesh.
To butterfly whole sardine: slice down full length of belly of gutted fish until just before the tail, place bellydown on a chopping board and roll gently with a rolling pin several times to flatten. Pull the head up and away towards the tail, removing head and bones together.
Panfry, bake, grill, barbecue, smoke, pickle. Handle carefully as their soft flesh falls apart easily. Goes well with breadcrumbs, chilli, garlic, herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, and pepper.
Sardine stock status - see the IMAS Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery Assessment
Review of Australia's small pelagic fisheries - Insights to inform the development of a potential new Tasmanian sardine fishery
Level 3, 134 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647
GPO Box 44
Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550