What is this? (gross sardine organ pictures)

I opened a can of sardines today and was greeted by some weird organ sticking out of one of the fish.
In the fish: http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/3904/sardine1.jpg
Removed for a sense of scale: http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/4348/sardine2.jpg
It was big and hard, and it looked like there were eggs or something on it. Are those really big fish gonads? I couldn't handle the idea of eating gonads, so I threw out the offending organ and ate the rest. My curiosity is killing me here...does anyone eat that or am I supposed to throw it out?

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