A sprat is the common name applied to a group of forage fish belonging to the genus Sprattus in the family Clupeidae. The term is also applied to a number of other small sprat-like forage fish. Like most forage fishes, sprats are highly active small oily fish. They travel in large schools with other fish and swim continuously throughout the day.
They are also recognized for their nutritional value as they contain high levels of polyunsaturated fats, considered beneficial to the human diet.They are eaten in many places around the world. Sprats are sometimes passed for other fish; products sold as having been prepared from anchovies (since the 19th century) and sardines are sometimes prepared from sprats, as the authentic ones used to be less accessible. They are known for their smooth flavour and are easy to mistake for baby sardines.