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Fishermen preparing to collect anchoveta’s (Engraulis ringens), Peru, June 2015 © WWF / Adrian Portugal

Fishermen preparing to collect anchoveta’s (Engraulis ringens), Peru, June 2015 © WWF / Adrian Portugal

Peruvian Anchoveta Fishery Improvement Project

13 Jul 2016

  • fisheries
  • food production
  • sustainable seafood

The waters around Peru are swimming with anchovies, literally. Their anchoveta (anchovy) fishery is the largest single species fishery in the world, with over 4.3 million tonnes landed in 2015. That's an impressive haul, no question, but why should we care about a fishery half a world away?

Because this South American fishery is an important global resource. The anchovies are used to make aquaculture food, their oils go into the production of vitamins and supplements, and the fish themselves are a dietary staple for people around the world. Creating sustainable fisheries is in all our best interests, but it's going to demand a global, collaborative approach.

In 2015, WWF-Australia, brought together three leading businesses. Our team included Blackmores, producers of fish oil supplements; Tassal, Australia’s largest aquaculture company; and Coles, buyers and sellers of aquaculture seafood. These partners understood the importance of addressing environmental issues to support this fishery and were prepared to invest in long-term solutions.

Together we collaborated with WWF-Peru on a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) that brought the fishery up to the highest standard of sustainability – Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. Certification will ensure that environmental issues are tackled and that the livelihoods of the local and international communities that depend on the fishery are maintained for generations to come.


Fisherman holding his catch in Peru, August 2015 © WWF / Ana Castañeda

We cannot remain idle. We have to walk the talk, and go the extra mile. This will only depend on the collaboration of every single participant as well as our efforts to identify those tasks that shall improve this fishery, the largest in the world.

Samuel Amoros

Senior Manager, WWF-Peru Marine Program


WWF is very pleased to be working with Blackmores to support the Peruvian anchoveta fishery moving to the highest sustainability standard for fisheries.




The Peruvian anchoveta (anchovy) fishery is the largest single-species fishery in the world, with over 4.3 million tonnes landed in 2015. This is over 30 times more in volume than Australia’s total commercial wild harvest for the same period.


  • April 2015 Stakeholder mapping and engagement, where WWF-Peru identified all key Peruvian stakeholders and engaged them to participate in the project.

  • November 2015 MSC pre-assessment, where the fishery’s performance was evaluated against all environmental criteria of the MSC fisheries standard.

  • December 2015 Completion of scientific studies to further our understanding of the role of anchovies in the ecosystem and assess methods for determining the total allowable catches in the fishery.

  • January 2016 Completion of a FIP (Fishery Improvement Project) action plan, where all stakeholders collaboratively produced a detailed blueprint to address the key environmental improvements required, plan for delivery and scope out the time frames and budget.

  • 2020 Implementation of the FIP action plan, and fishery in MSC certification process towards certification.