Fishery Improvement Project

Last update: April 2018


Peruvian anchovy (Engraulis ringens) [Northern-Central stock]

FIP Stage according to CASS progress table: 4, FIP is delivering improvement in policies or practices

FIP Rating according to SFP rating system: A (Exceptional Progress, Feb 2018)

[* CeDePesca updated and translated the original scores of this FIP (set against the MSC standard v1.3) to the MSC standard v2.0.  The rationale for the setting of scores for the updated performance indicators is shown here.  The scores were applied to the Chimbote small-scale fishery and are preliminary.]

FIP profile at  Peruvian anchovy – small scale – purse seine (Apr 2018)

Fishery Location:  Peruvian waters, Chimbote.


FIP Coordination:

If you would like more information about the FIP or if you wish to support it, please contact Julissa Melo or Carmen Guerrero.


FIP Participants:

Lovering Foods (UK importer)

Compañía Americana de Conservas (local exporter)

CeDePesca (technical support)


Sustainability information

FishSource – Anchoveta – Peruvian northern-central stock
(focused on the fishery for indirect human consumption)

Other references:

Fishbase – Engraulis ringens


Date Publicly Announced:

September 2016


Current Improvement Recommendations:

  • To increase current knowledge on the impacts of the Chimbote small-scale fleet over other ecosystem components, such as bycatch species and endangered, threatened and protected (ETP) species.
  • To define and enforce catch limits for the small-scale and artisanal fleets and strengthen landing, processing and transportation controls.
  • To strengthen control of the fishery’s value chain to minimize the deviation of anchovy caught for human direct consumption towards the indirect human consumption sector.


The Northern-Central stock of Peruvian anchovy supports the single most important mono-specific fishery in the world, accounting for 5 to 6 million metric tons of landings annually.  Throughout its history, this fishing stock has undergone some extreme collapses and amazing recoveries. Peruvian anchovy is one of the key species within the Southeastern Pacific ecosystem as it is consumed by many other animal species, and it is extremely sensitive to variable environmental conditions under the influence of the Humboldt current, the Cromwell current, and periodic strong El Niño and La Niña events.

The fishing fleets targeting the Northern-Central stock of anchovy are divided in three, according to their fishing capacity:  There is an artisanal fishing fleet of vessels of less than 10 m3 GRT; a small-scale fishing fleet of vessels of more than 10 m3 GRT and less than 32.6m3 GRT; and an industrial fishing fleet of vessels larger than 32.6 m3.  Landings from the artisanal and small-scale fleets should be used for direct human consumption, and only industrial landings are to be used to produce fishmeal.

The Chimbote fleet, from which Compañía Americana de Conservas sources from, is grouped in the small-scale and artisanal fleet category.

In 2008 and with support from the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, CeDePesca started implementation of a Fishery Improvement Project for the Peruvian anchovy fishery.  That FIP promoted several improvements to the fishery that were subsequently fruitful; in particular:

  • In 2010, a limitation of effort was established for the small-scale fleet in Peru. However, fishing capacity was still above the levels demanded by the direct human consumption sector and CeDePesca encouraged a continued improvement of the management measure.
  • In 2011, the harvest strategy was first published by IMARPE in a scientific paper. Although it was still not formalized through an official document, it was a great advance for fishery research transparency at the time.
  • Also in 2011, CeDePesca started disseminating the methodology for the Ecological Risk Assessment for the Effects of Fishing (ERAEF) in Peru. The first workshop was conducted at IMARPE’s regional office in Huanchaco, La Libertad.  The second was organized in 2012 by UNOPS’ GEF Project for the Humboldt Current Large Marine Ecosystem and was executed by CeDePesca’s staff.
  • In 2012, CeDePesca sent and released a public statement addressed at PRODUCE, regarding measures established in Supreme Decree 005-2012-PRODUCE. This Decree established three fleet categories and distinct fishing zones for each; it also established that small scale fishing vessels (more than 10m3 GRT and less than 32.6m3 GRT) shall become subjected to the vessel monitoring system.  However, loopholes remained in the legislation, as it stated that anchovy caught by the small-scale vessels should be used “preferably” for human direct consumption, but did not define the term “preferably”.  CeDePesca’s statement asked for greater accuracy in the regulation in order to avoid oversizing of the small-scale fleet and a misdirection of small-scale fleet landings towards fishmeal.  Shortly afterwards, PRODUCE issued Ministerial Resolution 433-2012-PRODUCE closing those loopholes by stating that anchovy caught in the small-scale vessels’ fishing zone should be used for direct human consumption only, and establishing that no new permits would be issued for this fleet category.
  • CeDePesca sent and released a second public statement addressed at PRODUCE analyzing official information on anchovy catches, production and commercialization of fishmeal over a 5-year period and the potential extraction capacity of the small-scale fleet to show the need to take measures to curb undeclared fishing. CeDePesca recommended discouraging discards in fishing operations, improving the onboard observers program, accelerating the closure of marine areas with high presence of juvenile specimens and setting an ITQ system for the artisanal and small-scale fleet.  Shortly afterwards, PRODUCE established Supreme Decree 008-2012-PRODUCE introducing improvements to the previous regime, some of which were recommendations made by CeDePesca in its statement.
  • Also in 2012, as a result of the FIP’s long transparency campaign, IMARPE clearly reported for the first time the limit and target reference points that it had been using for years but that were not consigned in any official document. The limit and target reference points being a parental biomass of 4 million metric tons and 6 million metric tons (under normal environmental conditions).


In November 2011, officials from the now closed UNOPS’ GEF Project for the Humboldt Large Marine Ecosystem put CeDePesca in contact with the General Manager from Compañía Americana de Conservas.  This company is part of the Spanish company Grupo Consorcio and it showed great interest in getting the fishery certified under the MSC program so that their canned products may use the MSC logo.  The company’s chain of custody has already been certified to work with MSC-certified Argentine anchoita (a species similar to anchovy that belongs also to the Engraulis genus).

In July 2012, Compañía Americana de Conservas signed a Framework Collaboration Agreement with CeDePesca for the implementation of a FIP targeting the portion of the fishery fishing for direct human consumption, and Specific Agreement N°1.  In accordance to these agreements, CeDePesca helped to fill out forms to ask for bids to three Conformity Assessment Bodies and provided advice during the MSC Pre-Assessment process conducted by Bureau Veritas.

In December 2012, the MSC Pre-Assessment report was turned in by Bureau Veritas and an Action Plan was devised by CeDePesca.  However, because of changes in the country’s political climate, Compañía Americana de Conservas decided to delay the start of the FIP until conditions improved.  As a result, this FIP was not publicly announced and it was suspended until new notice.

In June 2016, CeDePesca was contacted by Lovering Foods, a UK company that sources from Compañía Americana de Conservas.  Lovering Foods expressed their interest in setting up a FIP together with Compañía Americana de Conservas to attain MSC certification with technical coordination provided by CeDePesca. Given that new authorities have been summoned in Peru as the result of the change in government, the FIP is now resuming activities.

Key problems/issues:

At the time of drafting this report, the main issues regarding sustainability of the small-scale fishery seem to be:

  • There is little knowledge on the impacts of the Chimbote small-scale fleet over other ecosystem components, such as bycatch species and endangered, threatened and protected (ETP) species.
  • Catch limits for the small-scale fleet need to be reinforced and landing and transportation controls need to be strengthened.
  • Transparency of science should continue to increase, so that information on the stock status in relation to its ecosystem reference points are readily available to the public.

A more detailed panorama will emerge after the update of the MSC Pre-Assessment (see Progress Update section).

FIP Objectives:

At the time of drafting this report, FIP objectives are considered to be:

  • To design and implement a private onboard observers program to close information gaps regarding the Chimbote small-scale fleet interaction with other ecosystem components.
  • To conduct an Ecological Risk Assessment for the Effects of Fishing to detect risks faced by species impacted by the fishery and devise management proposals, if needed.
  • To promote the integration of the information obtained by the various on board observers programs under direction of the Peruvian Fisheries Research Institute (IMARPE).
  • To promote stronger enforcement of management measures and of surveillance and control mechanisms by regional authorities.
  • To promote further collaboration and coordination among stakeholders in the governmental, private and non-governmental sectors.

These objectives will be revised by FIP partners after the update of the MSC Pre-Assessment is concluded (see Progress Update section below).

Progress Update


June 2016

In June, stakeholders have decided to form and publicly announce the FIP, and have agreed that CeDePesca should conduct an update of the MSC Pre-Assessment performed by Bureau Veritas in December 2012.  This update is not only necessary given changes in management measures and its enforcement during the last three and a half years, but because Compañía Americana de Conservas is no longer sourcing from Pisco, but from Chimbote.

FIP partners have also agreed to conduct an internal workshop to discuss results and to agree an Action Plan that would become part of a Specific Agreement to be signed by all.  The meeting will be held in early September.

July – September 2016

During this quarter, CeDePesca updated the MSC Pre-Assessment that had been conducted in 2012 by Bureau Veritas, and a meeting to present results and a visit to Chimbote were organized.

From September 5th to 9th, Lovering Foods’ representatives Ms. Caitlin Schindler and Mr. Andrés Reyes-Alzate visited the fishery.  The first meeting took place on Monday 5th at the National Society of Fisheries (SNP), that kindly provided a venue.  Among stakeholders present at the meeting were representatives from the Peruvian Engineer’s College, the National Society of Industries (SNI), NGO Oannes, and industry representatives from TASA, SNP, and FIP partners Compañía Americana de Conservas and Lovering Foods.  At this meeting, CeDePesca presented the update of those performance indicators that were to be reviewed in the MSC pre-assessment that was conducted in 2010 by Bureau Veritas.  All new scores were explained and feedback was received from the participants.  On September 7th, FIP partners met with IMARPE’s new Scientific Executive Director, Mr. Renato Guevara.  Mr. Guevara talked about the next issue of a book on anchovy that will be edited by IMARPE, and expressed the new administration’s intention of increasing transparency of scientific information.  In addition, a meeting was held with the Vice-Minister for Fisheries, Mr. Héctor Soldi, and with the head of the Office for Fisheries and Aquaculture Management, Mr. Iván González.  The Vice-Minister expressed his support for the project, and let partners know that his administration will look to further formalize the sector and improve management of the small-scale and artisanal fisheries.  He also explained that new roundtables would be implemented to discuss the management of the fishery, and that these will include representatives from the small-scale and artisanal fishing sector.  On Friday 9th, a meeting was held between CeDePesca and the Executive Director of the General Office of Coastguards (DICAPI), Mr. José Jara and his advisor, Mr. Fuentes Castro.  At this meeting, CeDePesca expressed the need for further enforcement of management measures to prevent illegal fishing by boats with no permits.  Mr. Jara explained that coordination needs to be improved between jurisdictions and other governmental offices, and informed that new patrol boats have been acquired recently to strengthen control operations.

October – December 2016

Lovering Foods, Compañía Americana de Conservas and CeDePesca have agreed on the Action Plan for this FIP and its associated budget.  A formal Framework Collaboration Agreement and Specific Agreement N°1 are now in the process of signature.

In December, CeDePesca met with the representative of Grupo Consorcio, Denis Vilcoq, to talk about FIP implementation.


January – March 2017

On January 11th, the Framework Collaboration Agreement and Specific Agreement N°1 were signed by FIP partners.

Also in January, coordination meetings with the Fisheries National Society (Sociedad Nacional de Pesquería, SNP) took place in order to discuss how to better implement FIP activities that are relevant to both the Indirect Human Consumption and the Direct Human Consumption fisheries.

Also in January, CeDePesca attended a meeting convened by the Vice-Minister of Fisheries, Mr. Héctor Soldi.  During this meeting, representatives from PRODUCE; IMARPE, SNP and CeDePesca discussed the main challenges for the Peruvian anchovy fisheries to attain a certifiable status.  One of the main results from this meeting was the intention of the Vice-Minister of formalizing a working group among all attending entities to coordinate actions and assign specific duties to each.

In March, FIP partners selected a renowned specialist on the MSC standard, Mr. Ian Scott, to assess compliance with the MSC Performance Indicator 1.1.1 (Stock status – Low-Trophic-Level species).  A database with relevant information is being put together by CeDePesca to support the completion of this activity.

Also during this quarter, a protocol for data collection has been designed for the Onboard Observers Program that will be implemented as a private initiative.  The Program will collect data on the interaction of the Chimbote small-scale fishery with non-target species and other ecosystem components.

April – June 2017

On April 14th, the Government of Peru issued Supreme Decree 005-2017-PRODUCE, issuing fishing regulations for the Direct Human Consumption fishery.  This decree establishes conditions to conduct fishing operations, conservation measures, processing conditions, surveillance and control, as well as obligations regarding data collection.  On April 21st, PRODUCE issued Ministerial Resolution N° 186-2017-PRODUCE setting a 300 thousand tons TAC for the DHC fishery.  This TAC is applicable to landings from the Northern-Central stock and the Southern stock.

On May 8th, CeDePesca sent a formal letter to PRODUCE welcoming the setting of a TAC for the DHC fishery and pointing out that this quota considers only the Northern-Central stock exploitation rate and not the Southern stock exploitation rate and noting that the quota is well over the mean landings of anchovy in the DHC fishery. Also, CeDePesca has suggested that PRODUCE sets an independent quota for each stock, while clarifying its criteria to set the quota at 300 thousand metric tons as well as if the quota is fixed or will vary over time.  On August 17th, PRODUCE answered the letter, stating that the suggestions will be taken into consideration by the General Office of Policies and Regulations Analysis.

On May 11th, the Vice-Minister of Fisheries convened the first meeting of the Working Group to coordinate actions related to the improvement of the anchovy fisheries.  The Working Group is formed by representatives from PRODUCE, IMARPE, SNP (to which Compañía Americana de Conservas is affiliated) and CeDePesca. The group aims at proposing improvements to the fishery’s management and research.  During the first meeting, IMARPE committed to help homologate the FIP’s onboard observers data-collection forms to ensure compatibility with its database.  It also agreed to updating data related to the estimation of the required level of anchovy biomass that would ensure a healthy status of those species that prey on it.  On the other hand, PRODUCE committed itself to assessing the feasibility of differentiating the quota regime for longnose anchovy (Anchoa nasus) that is currently included in the Engraulis ringens quota regime.

On June 27th, the second meeting of the Working Group took place.  During this meeting, it was agreed that workshops will be organized with stakeholders to help define quota ratios for Direct Human Consumption and Indirect Human Consumption, considering that as of April 2017 there is a TAC for the DHC fishery.  Other workshops will be organized in Ica and Chimbote to find ways to support the implementation of Supreme Decrees N°006-2015-PRODUCE and N°005-2017-PRODUCE (related to the prohibition of increasing fishing capacity in the DHC fishery, and other measures related to the monitoring of the fishery, extraction and processing activities).  Also during this meeting, IMARPE proposed organizing a visit to its headquarters to participate from the gathering of information related to the trophic interactions between anchovy and other species.

Regarding the FIP’s Onboard Observers Program, an onboard observer was selected by CeDePesca in early April. Representatives from Compañía Americana de Conservas informed that it was not yet sourcing from the fishery because the fish was not of the right size for processing, so the program started limited operations on May 23rd.  Shortly before, all data-collection forms were homologated to those in use by IMARPE, in order to ensure compatibility, as agreed to in the first meeting of the Working Group.

July – September 2017

In July, Compañía Americana de Conservas informed that it has started sourcing from the fishery.  However, climate conditions worsened and ports in Chimbote were closed by authorities during July.  Therefore, the Onboard Observers Program continued to have limited operation during this month.

On July 20th, IMARPE contacted CeDePesca to coordinate a meeting with researchers from the departments of Population Dynamics, Top Predators, Trophic Ecology and Oceanography in order to discuss a practical approach to the task of determining the required level of anchovy spawning biomass that would ensure a healthy status of other species that prey on it.

On August 14th, the third meeting of the Working Group was held.  During this meeting, PRODUCE and IMARPE agreed to assess the evolution of Anchoa nasus catches, its population status, its preferred habitat and the impact of the anchovy fishery on it during the last ten years.  This assessment would help in determining if it is possible and feasible to apply a differentiated management for Anchoa nasus.  On the other hand, the advances made on the analysis of what level of anchovy biomass would ensure a healthy status for other species that prey on it were also discussed during this meeting.  The fourth meeting of the Working Group will take place in mid-September.

On September 20th, the fourth meeting of the Working Group was held.  During this meeting, IMARPE provided a list of international experts that could help them improve the current knowledge on trophic interactions and anchovy consumption rates.  CeDePesca committed itself to contacting the experts to gauge their interest in participating from this initiative.

Also on September 20th, a FIP partners’ meeting was held in the city of Lima.  Representatives from Lovering Foods, Compañía Americana de Conservas, Grupo Consorcio, CeDePesca and MRAG discussed the progress of the FIP.

Also in late September, CeDePesca analyzed the data collected to date by the FIP’s Onboard Observers Program.  The results show that bycatch of horse mackerel, jack mackerel, lorna drum, coco croaker and salema butterfish represented 0,91% of the total observed catch, while discards were not observed.  Also, interactions were observed with Inca tern, Peruvian booby, Peruvian pelican, Guanay cormorant and Southern Sea lions, but no harm has been observed so far.  In addition, no interaction with the bottoms were observed and fishing gears have not been lost at sea.

October – December 2017

Two inter-institutional workshops took place in Chimbote on October 23rd and in Pisco on October 30th, with the participation of the Regional Directions of Production (DIREPROs), the captaincies of each jurisdiction and FIP partners.  One of the goals of the meetings was to start finding ways to support the implementation of Supreme Decrees N°006-2016-PRODUCE and N°005-2017-PRODUCE (related to the prohibition of increasing fishing capacity in the DHC fishery, and other measures related to the monitoring of the fishery, extraction and processing activities).

On the other hand, the fifth meeting of the Working Group formed by PRODUCE; IMARPE; the SNP and CeDePesca was held on Novermber 29th.  During this meeting, IMARPE presented the results of its study on the evolution of Anchoa nasus catches, its population status, its preferred habitat and the impact of the anchovy fishery on it during the last ten years.  After commenting on the results, the need of setting special measures for longnose anchovy during warm conditions was discussed and will continue to be addressed in subsequent meetings.  Also during this meeting, CeDePesca shared the comments received from stakeholders during the inter-institutional workshops conducted in Chimbote and Pisco.


January – March 2018

On January 11th, the Working Group formed by PRODUCE, IMARPE, the SNP and CeDePesca held its sixth meeting.  The members discussed the issue of the establishment of an IHC/DCH quota ratio. In addition, IMARPE informed other members on a meeting held by its researchers with the expert Dr. Eduardo Morteo, regarding implementing a practical approach to estimating trophic needs of the ecosystem in relation to Peruvian anchovy.  The expert considered that the existing databases are appropriate to conduct the analysis.

On February 27th, the Working Group held its seventh meeting.  During this meeting, a representative from the General Office of Monitoring, Surveillance and Control presented the traceability system currently applied to the Direct Human Consumption fishery and elaborated on the way that the system called SITRAPESCA will work during the pilot experiences that are to be conducted as of March 2018.

Also in February, CeDePesca sent a formal letter to the Vice-Minister of Fisheries expressing its suggestions on ways to establish a DHC/IHC ratio.

Also during this quarter, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between PRODUCE and CeDePesca setting the basis for technical collaboration regarding Peruvian fisheries’ sustainability.


Click here for a detailed FIP Progress Update (PDF)