Profile updated on 7 July 2022





Engraulis encrasicolus


European anchovy

The stock structure of the 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 2020). 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 2020).


  • CECAF, the FAO Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic, conducts regular stock assessments of the main small pelagic species in NW Africa. The last assessments were conducted in 2020 and 2021. In the case of the European anchovy, a single stock in the NW African region is considered in the assessments (FAO 2020)(FAO 2021). Results from the 2021 assessment are considered preliminary (FAO 2021).
  • The fishery of small pelagic species, including the European anchovy, is regulated through a fishery management plan that includes effort limits and closed areas (Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche Maritime (MAPM) 2015) (FAO 2020).


Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 6