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 improvements in policies or practices

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

FIP Rating according to MSC benchmarking Tool: Initial – preliminary (0.50, Feb 2017)*; Initial – updated (0.77, Aug 2017)**; First (0.79, 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 are preliminary.]

[** CeDePesca completed its update of the MSC gap analysis against the MSC standard v2.0 in August 2017.  Comments from the Working Group were received until November 2017.]

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

Fishery Location:

FAO Area 87.  Peruvian waters between parallels 03°30’S and 16°00’S.


FIP Coordination:

If you would like more information about the FIP or if you wish to support it, please contact Julissa Melo from CeDePesca, or Jorge Risi from the SNP.

FIP Participants:

Sociedad Nacional de Pesquería (Peruvian fishing industry association)

CeDePesca (technical support)

Sustainability information

FishSource – Anchoveta – Peruvian northern-central stock

Other references:

Fishbase – Engraulis ringens

Date Publicly Announced:  January 2017

Current Improvement Recommendations:

  • It is necessary to demonstrate that the fishery complies with the requirement of attending the needs of the ecosystem.
  • It is required that harvest control rules in a low biomass scenario are more explicit, as well as the management objectives related to the ecosystem.
  • It is necessary to address unreported fishing and illegal vessels, which represent a potential danger for the sustainability of the fishery.
  • It is necessary to achieve a better understanding of the direct impacts of the Unit of Assessment on ETP species and habitats.


The northern Humboldt Current system (NHCS) is an important area of one of the most productive world marine ecosystems, the Humboldt Current Large Marine Ecosystem (HCLME).  The Humboldt Current extends along the coast of Chile and Peru; the NHCS corresponds to Peru.  Between the coastal pelagic species of the NHCS, the Peruvian anchovy (Engraulis ringens) is predominant and creates one of the most important single species fisheries worldwide (FAO 2016).

In 1955, the first management measures of the Peruvian anchovy stock were set, when establishing a minimum size of 12 cm and a minimum mesh length.  In the 1970s, new measures were drafted related to catch control by means of establishing annual global fishing quotas.

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 32.6 m3 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.

Currently, the most important fishery management measures are:

  • Total allowable catches
  • Maximum Allowable Catch per Vessel (industrial fleet)
  • Minimum catch size of 12 cm
  • Minimum mesh size 13 mm – ½”
  • Regulation of the fishing capacity or effort of fishing vessels
  • Time and space closures for the protection of juveniles and the reproductive process
  • Exclusion zone for industrial fishing up to 5 marine miles from the coast
  • Establishing a maximum percentage of bycatch of other species, maximum 5% of the catch.
  • Establishing a Surveillance and Control Program of Marine Fishing and Landing, as well as Satellite Follow Up.


Regarding research, the Peruvian fishery research institute (Instituto del Mar del Perú, IMARPE) dedicates significant financial and human resources to the follow up and research of this fishery. It benefits from a large data flow, both regarding the Peruvian anchovy stock as well as the group of variables and impacts related with it.  Also, during the last fifty years, industrial vessels have participated from activities related to fishing data collection.

Since 2008, the National Fisheries Society (Sociedad Nacional de Pesquería, SNP) and CeDePesca have been cooperating informally. On September 25th, 2015, a Framework Collaboration Agreement was signed between both entities with the aim of furthering joint efforts to implement research, capacity-building and dissemination activities as related to the coastal and marine environment with emphasis on ensuring the sustainability of Peruvian fisheries.


Within the scope of the Framework Agreement, the SNP and CeDePesca started discussing the implementation of a Fishery Improvement Project for the anchovy fishery (Northern-central stock) to be implemented in accordance to the guidelines set by the Conservation Alliance for Sustainable Solutions (CASS).  After agreements were reached regarding specific objectives and an Action Plan, Specific Agreement N°2 was formalized between both parties on January 4th, 2017.

This FIP is focused on the industrial portion of the fishery, and it is to be conducted in tandem with the Peruvian anchovy Northern-Central stock DHC FIP that focuses on the artisanal and small-scale portion of the fishery.

Key problems/issues:

The main issues regarding sustainability of the fishery are:

  1. It is necessary to demonstrate that the fishery complies with the requirement of attending the needs of the ecosystem.
  2. It is required that harvest control rules in a low biomass scenario are more explicit, as well as the management objectives related to the ecosystem.
  3. It is necessary to address unreported fishing and illegal vessels, which represent a potential danger for the sustainability of the fishery.
  4. It is necessary to achieve a better understanding of the direct impacts of the Unit of Assessment on ETP species and habitats.

FIP Objectives:

The general objective of this FIP is to attain a certifiable status.  This FIP’s specific objectives are:

  • To demonstrate that the management system considers the ecosystem needs.
  • To promote improvements in the management system that would allow for explicit catch control rules in the case of low biomass occurring.
  • To organize the available data gathered by the industrial fishing vessels and encourage further technological innovation and development in order to allow for the assessment and monitoring of the ecosystem.
  • To promote management improvements and actions to maximize the respect of management rules by the artisanal and small-scale fleet and to improve traceability, while contemplating any selectivity and technological innovation limitations.
  • Determining the direct impacts of the fleet on ETP species and other ecosystem components and, if necessary, mitigate them.

Progress Update


September 2016

On September 5th, the National Fisheries Society (Sociedad Nacional de Pesquería, SNP) participated from a workshop where the results of a partial update of an MSC Pre-Assessment originally performed by Bureau Veritas in 2012 were presented by CeDePesca, as part of the Peruvian anchovy Northern-Central stock’s Direct Human Consumption FIP (see that FIP’s public report here).  During this meeting, all new scores were explained and feedback was received from the participants, including the SNP.  While the aforementioned update is not fully applicable to the IHC fishery, the fishing stock is the same, and so the information related is valid and served to kickoff a fruitful discussion on improvement opportunities for the IHC fishery.

October – December 2016

During this quarter, the SNP and CeDePesca discussed the possibility of implementing a fishery improvement project for the Peruvian anchovy Northern-Central stock’s Indirect Human Consumption (IHC) fishery.  While drafting an Action Plan, synergies with the Peruvian anchovy Northern-Central stock DHC FIP -also coordinated by CeDePesca- were sought and an agreement with that FIP’s partners was reached regarding overlapping activities and common goals.

On November 14th, PRODUCE issued Supreme Decree N° 024-2016-PRODUCE, establishing measures to further strengthen surveillance and control of extraction activities.  The measure aims at minimizing juvenile discards, given that reporting the percentage of juveniles for each haul -and not only by fishing trip- will allow for improvement of the already established practice of closing fishing areas where the percentage of juveniles in the catch surpasses the 10% threshold.


January – March 2017

On January 4th, the SNP and CeDePesca signed Specific Agreement N°2, formally setting up the Peruvian anchovy Northern-Central stock IHC FIP.  The agreement sets specific objectives and includes the adoption of the FIP Action Plan and the associated budget.

On January 9th, CeDePesca met with stakeholders including SNP representatives, and a scientific team conformed by researchers from the Fisheries Chapter of the Peruvian Engineers’ College and from fishing companies who are members of the SNP.  During this meeting, CeDePesca clarified issues regarding the MSC standard requirements.

On January 10th, another meeting was held with the full Board of Directors of the SNP to discuss the implementation of the Action Plan.  Also, a joint meeting with a representative from the Compañía Americana de Conservas -FIP partner in the Peruvian Anchovy Northern-Central stock DHC FIP- took place to further discuss common actions.

On January 11th, the SNP and CeDePesca had a meeting with authorities and staff from IMARPE (the Peruvian fishery research institute) and PRODUCE (Ministry of Production) to explain the FIP objectives and to talk about improvement suggestions.  The Vice-Minister of Fisheries committed himself to support the improvements process that would get a certifiable status for this fishery, and offered to create a workgroup that would provide liaison between FIP partners, IMARPE and PRODUCE.

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 meeting was held with TASA’s Chief of the Oceanography and Marine Sustainability Department and the Chief of Fishing Operations to discuss the experience that TASA has accumulated since 2008 with its private onboard observers program.  The information gathered has been taken into consideration in the design of the protocol for data collection of this FIP’s Onboard Observers Program.  The Program will collect data on the interaction of the industrial fishery with non-target species and other ecosystem components.

April – June 2017

On April 20th, CeDePesca presented the advances of this project to the SNP, Skretting, Cargill and IMARPE.  Also on this date, a meeting was held at PRODUCE, where the Vice-Minister of Fisheries kindly shared the results of the scientific cruiser #1703-04 and explained the methodology used for the setting of the quota for the first part of the 2017 fishing season as well as the implementation of Supreme Decree N° 024-2016-PRODUCE issued to minimize discards (see section October-December 2016 above).  The quota was set at 2.8 million metric tons through Ministerial Resolution N°173-2017-PRODUCE issued on April 19th.

On the other hand, on April 14th, the Government of Peru issued Supreme Decree 005-2017-PRODUCE, setting 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.  This decree constitutes an indirect improvement for the IHC fishery, as it will allow for a better monitoring of the DHC extraction volumes and for the implementation of the surveillance needed to reduce the unreported transfer of fish to reduction plants.

Also in April, an onboard observer was selected by CeDePesca to start implementing this FIP’s Onboard Observers Program.  The Program started on May 3rd.  Shortly after, all data-collection forms were homologated to those in use by IMARPE, in order to ensure compatibility.  Also, on May 15th, the onboard observer received further training by IMARPE regarding top predators identification.

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°006-2016-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).  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.

On June 28th, CeDePesca presented all FIP progresses to Skretting and Cargill.

July – September 2017

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.

Also in August, the SNP and IHMA held a workshop regarding potential improvements to the design of fishing nets and to methods to measure enmeshment rates.  The meetings were attended by representatives from companies associated to the SNP and fishing gear providers, as well as by representatives from PRODUCE, IMARPE and the National University Federico Villareal, among others.

In September, the SNP and CeDePesca discussed the feasibility of training fishing crews to conduct observation-related tasks during the second 2017 fishing season.  Workshops have been organized to train the crews in October.

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, CeDePesca presented and discussed with FIP partners and the Working Group its update to the fishery’s MSC Pre-Assessment.  Comments were received, and the gap analysis will be published soon.  During the next meeting, the SNP and IHMA will present the advances of their tasks in relation to the FIP’s Action Plan, and IMARPE and PRODUCE will discuss the advances made towards the assessment of the Anchoa nasus case.

Also on September 20th, a FIP partners meeting was held in the city of Lima, where the advances of the FIP were shared with Cargill and Skretting.

During this quarter, CeDePesca analysed the data collected by the FIP’s Onboard Observers Program during the first 2017 fishing season.  The results show that bycatch represented 1.02% of the total observed catch in 33 observed hauls.  Pelagic red crab (Pleuroncodes monodon) represented 0.94% of the total observed catch; horse mackerel (Scomber japonicius), 0.07; and 0.01% was composed of jack mackerel, lorna drum, coco croaker, Peruvian Eagle ray and common mola.  Regarding interaction with seabirds, it was observed that the fishery interacted with grey gull, Peruvian booby, and Inca tern.  Out of 3700 observations of the interaction with Inca tern, 5 specimens could not be returned to the sea and died during the fishing operations.  In regards to marine mammals, the fishery interacted with Southern sea lions, but out of 2950 observed interactions there was no harm specimens observed.  Regarding habitats, there was interaction with the sea bottom in one out of 33 hauls observed.

October – December 2017

Regarding the monitoring of impacts of the fishery on the ecosystem, in mid-October, CeDePesca met with the general managers from fishing companies Diamante, CFG, TASA, Austral and Hayduk to coordinate the training of fishing crew as onboard observers.  Commentaries were received from TASA to streamline the design of such program   Ten fishing crew members were trained to conduct observer tasks in late October and November 2017.  A data collection form to be used by the fishing crew members was also agreed with FIP partners.  The program has been named “Salvamares”.

On the other hand, in October, the SNP and the Peruvian Marine Research Institute (IMARPE) signed a specific agreement to collaborate on activities related to this FIP, including workshops on the impacts of the fishery on top predators, bycatch species and ETP species.

Furthermore, a Protocol for the Calibration and Intercalibration of fishing vessel echo sounders prepared by the SNP and the Humboldt Institute for Marine and Aquaculture Research was discussed with stakeholders and is pending validation by IMARPE.  The protocol will allow for the use of the data in IMARPE’s scientific analysis.  The data gathered will help to better understand the minimum oxygen zone and oxyclines, the distribution of plankton and anchovy’s natural mortality rate, among other factors

Regarding improvements in management, two inter-institutional workshops took place in Chimbote on October 23rd and 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.

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.

Regarding the monitoring of impacts of the fishery on the ecosystem, from January 7th to January 26th, 122 fishing trips were observed by the Program with the help of trained crew members.  The data is being digitalized for its analysis.

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)