The sprat population of the Baltic sea has remained stable despite successive catches of 300,000 tonnes in the late 2010s and fears of a collapse of the entire eco-system have been allayed for now.
An annual plan was put in place in 2016 to manage sprat numbers in conjunction with cod and herring. The Baltic cod fishery is under pressure and, as cod prey on their pelagic relatives, over fishing of the sprat population would be detrimental to the dwindling cod.
Sprats have become the dominant fish in the Baltic amidst continuing climate change which may yet impact the eco-system.
In the meantime the sprat is as popular as ever, an essential ingredient in the traditional dishes of Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Russia.
- 800 g smoked sprats
- 12 eggs
- 300 g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 12 sprigs parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp dill, chopped
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Salt, large pinches
Whisk three of the eggs. Heat a large frying pan with a tablespoon of oil, add a quarter of the sprats, then the whisked eggs.
Cook until the eggs are done, garnish with dill and parsley, season with salt and pepper, serve with tomatoes.
Repeat the process with remaining ingredients, to serve a total of 4 people.