Sardines, or pilchards, are common names used to refer to various small, oily fish within the herring family of Clupeidae. The term sardine was first used in English during the early 15th century and may come from the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, around which sardines were once abundant. The terms sardine and pilchard are not precise, and what is meant depends on the region. The United Kingdom’s Sea Fish Industry Authority, for example, classifies sardines as young pilchards.
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