Certifier : 
SCS Global Services
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
21 Jul 2011
Certificate expires : 
21 Jul 2023


Pacific sardines are small forage fish that form large schools. Though they grow up to 40cm, those in the Gulf of California are usually around 20cm. While predominantly coastal, they are occasionally found as far as 200 nautical miles offshore.

The Gulf of California sardine fishery is Mexico’s largest fishery by volume. Its 36 vessels use purse seine nets to catch sardines in large shoals, which are hauled on board and landed mostly by fish pumps. Typical fishing boats are 25m long with a crew of around eight people. They are often equipped with refrigeration. Fishing trips usually last 1-2 days, and are often guided by aerial surveys.

As part of the certification process, the fishery is collaborating closely with environmental NGOs to improve monitoring and address issues around bycatch and interactions with rare, threatened and endangered species.