Anchovy

(Engraulis encrasicolus)

Anchovies, Ansjovis, Ancovetta

1. What is it?

Anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) is a small, fast growing species that aggregates in large schools near the surface of the water. Population levels of anchovy are known to experience decadal fluctuations in abundance due to variations in environmental conditions as well as variability in phytoplankton and zooplankton abundance. The stock status for FAO 34 remains unknown although there are indications that the stock is fully fished in fishing zone A, B whilst stock levels in zone C are unknown.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

South Africa - purse seine

Anchovy are caught using purse-seine nets which are set around a school of fish in the surface to mid-water. Once the school is surrounded, the bottom of the net is closed by a footrope. Bycatch of non – target species can be an issue and makes up 5% to 30% of the typical catch. Bycatch tends to consist of juvenile sardine, red eye and horse mackerel. There is little damage to bottom habitats.

Imported -purse seine

Anchovy are caught using non-FAD associated purse-seine nets that are set around a school of fish in the surface to mid-water. Once the school is surrounded, the bottom of the net is closed by a footrope. There is no known damage to the benthic habitat and bycatch of other small fish is considered to be low.

3.Where is it from?

South Africa - purse seine

Adult anchovy are caught mainly off the West coast during the winter months. Juvenile anchovy are caught as they move from the West Coast nursery grounds to their spawning grounds in the South Coast. Anchovy is managed using Total Allowable Catch (TAC) limit, access rights and vessel permits. There is also a total allowable limit for bycatch (TAB) of sardines and separate precautionary Upper Catch limits (PUCLs) for red eye, combined lantern and light fish and cape horse mackerel. Management is considered effective and research is ongoing in regards to the interactions between the small pelagic fishery and the endangered African Penguin.

Imported -purse seine

Anchovy are fished around the coastline of Morocco extending towards the Mediterranean Sea ( FAO 34 ) and imported into South Africa. Management is considered to be unknown as no definitive management plan has been defined for the whole fishing region (subdivided into three areas namely A, B, and C). The FAO provided advice on a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) limitation using a precautionary approach; however, uncertainties remain regarding regional implementation of the recommendation and the high levels of illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing occurring in the area.