Marine Wildlife Encyclopedia
South American Pilchard Sardinops sagax
Enormous shoals of these fish, made up of millions of individuals, were once found, but excessive fishing has reduced their numbers greatly. Pilchards are an important food fish and are also used to produce oil and fish meal. The South American pilchard may, in fact, be the same species as the California pilchard, and, worldwide, all pilchard species are very similar. These silvery, medium-sized fish are blue-green on the back and have a series of black marks along the sides.