Sprat is a widely available, small herring. It is a pelagic fish, which swims together in densely packed groups. It is rarely found at a depth of more than 150 metres. The sprat is an important part of the food chain for larger species such as sea trout, whiting and cod. In Norway, the fjord sprat spawns from February until late July. Spawning grounds include the Oslo fjord, the eastern coast of Skagerrak, and the fjord areas from Lindesnes to Farsund. After spawning, their eggs are transported by the currents to nursuery and feeding grounds. Quantities vary from year to year, and this affects the supply of larvae to coastal and fjord areas. Sprat reach sexual maturity at 1-2 years, and live for up to 5 years.
Sprat is caught by purse-seiners, mainly in the border area between Skagerrak and Kattegat as well as in the fjords of southern Norway and in the North Sea. The catch is kept in the seine for at least three days to make sure the bowels are empty before the fish is sent to the factories. Sprat is at its best from June to January.
Sprat is sold in the following forms:
- Hermetic products
Sprat is especially rich in:
- Protein that builds and maintains every cell in the body.
- Marine omega-3 fatty acids that prevent and reduce the development of cardiovascular diseases, and are important building blocks in the brain.
- Vitamin D, necessary to balance calcium in the body, which maintains and strengthens the bones.
- Selenium, an important element in an enzyme that fights harmful chemical processes in the body.
More nutritional data can be found at www.nifes.no/en/prosjekt/seafood-data