Sprattus is a genus of marine pelagic fish in the family Clupeidae. The abdomen is compressed at the sides and the ventral keel plates are well developed. The body is covered with easily shed scales. The coxae are not toothed. The body length does not exceed 18 cm. Widespread in temperate and subtropical waters of Europe, South America, South Australia and New Zealand. Plankton eaters. Lives up to 5-6 years. Mature in 1 year (Baltic Sea) or 2-3 years (Black Sea). Absolute fecundity of up to 2.5 thousand eggs. The Baltic Sea lays its eggs in the spring-summer period, the Black Sea from October to March. It is an important target of fishing.