Last U.S. Sardine Cannery Closes Its Doors

The last sardine cannery in the U.S. is closing its doors after being in business for nearly a century. The New England Fishery Management Council was forced to cut the amount of catching because the future of the tiny fish packed into the oblong cans looked bleak.

Sardines are dozens of types of herring fish that are known for being small, oily and smelly. The delicate bones and slippery texture of herrings allow for good eating for some, but massive catching has caused some problems off the Northeast coast.

Maine saw its first sardine cannery open in 1875 and will now see its last, in 2010. Decline in demand is also part of the problem. Asian canneries also offer the same product for less, making sardines another victim of the economic recession.

"We recognize the American public turns their noses up at sardines," stated Mike Sutton, a vice president at the Monterey Bay Aquarium to the AP. "It may be a challenge and it may be insurmountable, but our motto is 'It's not your grandfather's sardine.'"

Sardines are still widely popular in countries such as Italy where Mediterranean cuisine reigns supreme, but the U.S. palate may have lost its taste altogether.

Written by Amy Munday

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