The stock structure of European anchovy in NW Africa is not truly known but FAO considers the existence of an assessment unit in the subregion to perform stock assessments (FAO, 2013a,b). Based on otolith shape analysis and linking structure found to oceanographic features in the region Bacha et al. (2014) recently identified 3 populations in: Algero-Provençal Basin, southern Alborán Sea and NW Atlantic (Morocco and Gulf of Cadiz); but the study does not cover the whole assessment unit area.
The species is captured in a small pelagic fishery that also targets European pilchard Sardina pilchardus (central and southern stocks), sardinella Sardinella spp., horse mackerel Trachurus spp. and chub mackerel Scomber japonicus. The NW Africa assessment unit includes the northern area, zones A+B and C (Morocco) and Mauritania (FAO, 2013b).