Sardine, or Pilchard  (Clupea pilchardus ) is an important fish closely related to the herring and sprat. In size it grows from ten to fourteen inches; in color it is bluish-green above, whitish underneath and on its sides. It is entirely marine in habit, and its eggs float on the surface of the sea, unlike those of the herring, which are attached to objects at the bottom. The young, before it has attained maturity, is known as the sardine, and as such forms a valuable fishery; the full-grown pilchard is used as an article of diet as well as for bait. The method of capture is usually by drift-net. It is most abundant off the coasts of Portugal, and in the English Channel and the Mediterranean.