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Peruvian 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.





Peruvian anchovy

The Peruvian anchovy is the most caught fish in the world, with catches of 4-8 million tonnes per year. This anchovy can be found in the southwest of the Pacific Ocean and can reach a maximum length of 20 centimetres. In winter, this species migrates to the north to reproduce. The Peruvian anchovy is only used for the production of fish meal.  


Peruvian anchovy

Engraulis ringens

Pacific Ocean, southeast (FAO 87)

Farming- / Catch method

Purse seines

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

The fishing pressure on Peruvian anchoveta is very high and this species is overfishedOverfished:
A stock is overfished when the stock size has decreased so far that it can no longer produce a maximum sustainable yield. The size of the fish populations is insufficient to reproduce in the long term. 
in some areas. The stock size of this species is strongly influenced by fluctuating water temperatures and flow patterns due to factors such as ‘El Niño’. The component fish stocks and fishing pressure receives a red score.

In general, purse seine fishing has a low impact on the ecosystem. However, there are doubts about the impact this method has on endangered seabirds. Also, young, undersized species are regularly caught  and it is unclear how much bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
there is in this fishery. The ecosystem effects also receive a red score.

The effectiveness of the management plan for this species is considered to be partially effective and is given an orange score.

The final assessment for this species is red. It is recommended to avoid this species and to instead choose an orange or green alternative.

Fish in season

Fish in season is the best quality at that time because 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.