JIM Mendolia and his brothers set off in their fishing boat from Fremantle at 2am every morning and are back on shore with up to two tonnes of sardines by sunrise.
The Mendolia family, which owns Fremantle Sardines, have been fishing off the Fremantle coast since the 1950s.
“I’m the only one fishing actively out in this area at the moment, so I don’t need to go too far off Fremantle,” Mr Mendolia, who is co-director of the family business, said.
“We are normally back as the sun is coming up and take the product to the factory because we produce sardines for food, not bait.”
Crumbed Fremantle Sardines are a favourite of WA Food Ambassador Don Hancey.
“Get a little bit of olive oil, pop them in the pan but you can do them on the barbecue if you have a flat plate,” the Osborne Park-based chef said.
Mr Mendolia said whole sardines on the barbecue were his favourite.
“Mum used to hand fillet the sardines and of course now we have a machine but she used to put them in a pasta dish, crumbed and marinated with a Spanish recipe,” he said.
City Beach resident Joe Kosterich said sardines were an important source of omega three that was good for heart health and joints.
“All the research says we should be eating a couple of serves a week of oily fish because a lot of people aren’t getting enough omega three,” Mr Kosterich said.