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Argentine anchovy

Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Second choice
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Herring-like fish

There are two families in the order Clupeiformes; the herring family (Clupidae) and the anchovy family (Engraulidae) and are relatively small, silver-coloured fish.  They swim in large, pelagic schools and feed on plankton. They are occasionally found near the shore, however they usually swim further out in the open sea at depths up to 200 m. Most species are capable of producing a lot of eggs each spawning event, up to 200.000 per adult female. A large share of the global wild catch consists of haring-like fish. Not everything is used for direct human consumption, a large share is processed as fish meal or fish oil that form the essential ingredient for fish feed in aquaculture. Haring-like fish swim in large schools which makes them susceptible to large scale (industrial) fishing.





Argentine anchovy

The Anchovy that is found along the Argentine coast is one of the largest populations in that region. The Argentine anchovy, or Argentine anchoita, can reach a maximum length of 17 cm and mainly feeds on plankton and algae. In winter, this species migrates to the north to reproduce.


Argentine anchovy

Engraulis anchoita

Atlantic Ocean, south-west (FAO 41)

Farming- / Catch method

Purse seines

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

This assessment is on a small fishery with the local name “rada or ria”. The stock of Argentine anchovy they fish for can be considered underfished and therefore healthy.

Because purse seines are used there is little bycatch of endangered, threathened or protected species. Few fish are discarded, although strictly speaking this cannot be said with certainty.

The fishery is regulated by both Argentina and Uruguay, in principle they have good regulations, but too little research is done on the fishery, resulting in lacking data. Also, compliance to follow the rules is low and monitoring on this is poor. Improvements are underway, but the overall management is still far from reaching a basic level of implementation.

Fish in season

Fish in season is the best quality at that time because then the spawning period is over.

ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.


Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.


There is fish available of this species that is farmed or caught using high welfare standards.


GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.


Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.