Indirect estimates of the stock biomass have been derived periodically in the past and scientific surveys are regularly conducted, and results including direct biomass estimates are made publicly available. Managers make use of real-time monitoring and scientific recommendations, conducted by IMARPE for deploying in-year management measures. Monitoring include the analysis of environmental variables that highly influence anchovy. Several fishing closures were established since 2014 in result of a high proportion of juveniles, including the closure of the fishery. Observer’s program conducted by IMARPE improves data and analysis of the stock considering the ecosystem approach. Pelagic fishing gears are used (purse seines) which are not expected to interact with the seabed ecosystem; and large-net industrial vessels are banned from operating within 10 nm from the coast.
Stock assessment models are not used to assess this stock since 2010, so the uncertainty surrounding the status of the stock is considerable; thus fishing mortality estimates are not available in the last years. There is no known management plan. The species is strongly dependent on environmental variables and biological characteristics and biomass levels have decreased below historical averages since late 2013 due to prolonged anomalies in water temperature. Even though reported landings have been below set TACs, unreported catches including illegal discarding are known to occur but current rates could not be estimated. The main impact of the fishery on the ecosystem could occur via the impacts on the trophic chain.
Last updated on 30 June 2016
Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators
Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators: last updated on 12th May 2016
1. Request a programme of annual stock assessments for this stock that incorporates improved catch data and a peer review.
2. Develop a long-term management plan for the fishery with a specific harvest control rule that accounts of the role of anchoveta in the ecosystem as a forage species.
3. Improve data-gathering systems to ensure appropriate reporting of catches and discards. Explore potential opportunities to develop techniques to identify juvenile and adult anchoveta from acoustic fisheries data in order to reduce discarding.
Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
Recommendations to Retailers & Supply chain: last updated on 24th May 2016
1. Request the Peruvian Government to follow recommendations by external peer reviewers of the currently applied real-time stock monitoring methodology used as base for fishery management.
2. Request the Peruvian Government to establish an official harvest control rule that account’s for the anchoveta’s role in the ecosystem as a forage species.
3. Determine if fishmeal or oil produced from this fishery is an ingredient in any of the products in your supply chain. If so, ensure that the suppliers (e.g. of aquaculture feed, pet food, nutraceuticals) join the South America Reduction Fisheries Supply Chain Roundtable (http://www.sustainablefish.org/fisheries-improvement/small-pelagics/south-american-small-pelagics-roundtable).
Last updated on 11 May 2016
Previous to 2010, stock assessments were carried out using virtual population analysis (VPA) (Díaz, 2009). Since then IMARPE conducts stock assessments for anchoveta based on monitoring of oceanographic conditions, direct biomass estimates from acoustic surveys, and samplings for size structure and reproductive parameters, before each fishing season, to account for the rapid fluctuations in the natural biomass of this resource (e.g. IMARPE, 2014b-d; 2015b-d).
The most recent modeled stock assessments publicly available are exploratory models published in 2010, after a peer review by an international panel of experts (IMARPE, 2010b) conducted in 2009. Anchoveta catches have been reported by the small pelagics purse seine fishery in Ecuador in the southern coast since 2001, what has been explained as an expansion of anchovy distribution range northwards during the 2000 decade, as a result of an adaptive response of anchovy to warmer conditions (Instituto Nacional de Pesca, 2009). Landings have been very variable, ranging from 0 to 76,600 tonnes (average 26,600 t), being in 2006-2008 the most important species for the small pelagics mixed fishery (Instituto Nacional de Pesca, 2015). However, these figures are very low in comparison to the Peruvian catches (average of 5,000,000 tonnes from 2000-2014) and were not considered in stock assessments undertaken by Peru. Stock assessments for anchovy are not known to be conducted in Ecuador.
Peru requested FAO for an external technical audit to IMARPE. FAO concluded that there is a high standard scientific support towards the management of fisheries in Peru, however, recommended the use of a stock assessment model to determine the stock status and provide alternative approaches to calculate the advised quota was reported (FAO, 2014).
In 2015, IMARPE applied a population balance projection, to indirectly estimate biomass from one survey to the next, as an alternative method to compare direct estimates. Although its assumptions are not met completely, it was an attempt to include new methods for estimating anchoveta biomass. IMARPE reported that direct estimates may be insufficient during abnormal environmental conditions, when anchoveta are at greater depths and become less detectable using the traditionally applied acoustic method (IMARPE, 2015c,d).
Last updated on 11 May 2016
After carrying out the regular biannual hydroacoustic surveys, IMARPE gives out the maximum total permissible catch advice for each fishing season following a protocol (IMARPE, 2015a) which implies: 1) estimation of stock size structure and biomass using data from acoustic survey, 2) projection of size structures under different scenarios (exploitation, growth and mortality, which vary according to expected environmental conditions within the projection period) and 3) elaboration of a decision table. When abundance is low and environmental conditions are unstable, extra surveys are conducted (EUR-OCEANS, 2008; IMARPE, 2014d; 2015d).
The 2015 summer hydroacoustic survey indicated neutral oceanographic conditions and 9.4 million tonnes of total biomass, with 21% of juvenile biomass. Recommended TAC for the first fishing season was 2.52 million tons, taking into consideration the high likelihood of occurrence of El Niño event and associated to an exploitation rate (E) of 0.34, slightly lower than the historical exploitation rate (E = 0.35) (IMARPE, 2015b).
A second survey was conducted in September 2015, detecting the occurrence of a strong El Niño event and total biomass was estimated at 3.38 million tonnes, with 41% corresponding to juveniles’ biomass. IMARPE recommended not opening the fishery and increasing the monitoring of the stock (IMARPE, 2015c). A survey was done in late October, indicating that oceanographic conditions were normalizing; total biomass was estimated at 6.07 million tonnes and the presence of four cohorts was confirmed. However, the anchoveta spatial distribution, spawning and physiological conditions were below historical averages and patterns, indicating that the stock is being affected by the El Niño event. IMARPE recommended a catch limit of 1.11 million tonnes for the second fishing season of 2015, assuming the continuity of the strong El Niño conditions in the following months, therefore selecting a lower exploitation rate (E = 0.21) (IMARPE, 2015d). IMARPE highlighted the need for strict control on: juvenile incidence in catches, by setting temporal closures, increase in fishing effort in coastal areas, discarding, and increase in bycatch of other species; and for monitoring of the development of environmental conditions; and for management measures to allow the intensive monitoring of the anchoveta resource.
The small-and medium-scale fleets are not currently under a catch limit program, although a recent bio-economic study by BSESM (2013) found that this management strategy would generate more profit and would allow an adequate management of anchoveta fishing mortality by this sector (Young and Lankester, 2013).
Paredes (2014) recently indicated current regulation establishing maximum allowable percentages of juveniles anchoveta (set at 10% in numbers, PRODUCE, 2012c) is inadequate, since the current available technologies do not allow identification of catch size prior to hauling the net onboard; therefore discarding is incentivized to avoid paying fines. Thus, this author has proposed to decriminalize the landing of juveniles from open fishing areas, to promote the timely closure of fishing areas with high abundance of juveniles, and to severely penalize fishing in prohibited fishing areas and/or discarding of juvenile anchoveta in the sea. Fablet et al. (2012) provided a tool to discriminate of juvenile and adult anchovy school clusters, but it is not known if it has been tested to present.
Last updated on 3 May 2016
Considering 40 years of observations, spawning stock biomass escapement reference point (Bescapement ) was considered to be between 4,000,000 tonnes and 6 million tonnes (IMARPE, 2014a). Since 2015, the operational reference point is 5 million tonnes, as the target biomass to remain in the environment for spawning in the next reproductive event (projected to next 6 months) (IMARPE, 2015a).
No fishing mortality reference points or equivalent is set for management of the stock.
Last updated on 11 May 2016
Anchoveta is a small pelagic short-lived species, with population dynamics highly dependent on environmental conditions. Peruvian coasts are part of the Humboldt Current ecosystem, which shows significant inter-annual fluctuations. As well, in recent years, different environmental patterns are being observed, e.g. higher frequency of warm Kelvin waves and El Niño events. In this scenario, real-time monitoring is used to evaluate the stock status to account for this stock rapid natural biomass fluctuations, which consists in hydroacoustic survey and biometrics samplings previous to the opening of each fishing season and monitoring intensification when conditions are anomalous (IMARPE, 2014c,d; 2015c,d).
The 2015 summer hydroacoustic survey (carried out between February and April) estimated a total biomass of 9.4 million tonnes, indicating a significant recovery compared to surveys from 2014. Size structure analysis showed a balanced composition, with 21% of juveniles in weight and four well represented cohorts, corresponding to <0.5, 0.5, 1 and 1.5 year groups (IMARPE, 2015b).
The second survey (winter, August-September 2015) showed the occurrence of a strong El Niño event. Total biomass was estimated at 3.38 million tonnes, with a juvenile portion of 41% in weight, thus a 2 million ton spawning stock biomass (IMARPE 2015c), both biomass estimates were below historical average and below the target reference point (Bescapement = 5 million tonnes).
Two extra surveys were conducted in October (jointly with the industrial vessels) indicating that the prolonged strong El Niño event has affected the stock dynamics, resulting in a reduced biomass, reduced spatial distribution – coastal and southward-, a delayed spawning period and low somatic condition, compared with historical patterns. Still, in the last survey total biomass was estimated at 6.07 million tonnes and four cohorts were detected, confirming that besides the unfavorable environmental conditions the stock has been able to renew itself. However, IMARPE notesin the last stock status report that while positive indicators are observed for age structure and biomass, still there is a reduced coastal spatial distribution and poor physiological condition, compared to historical patterns. As well, IMARPE indicates an ecosystemic adjustment to environmental conditions changes; i.e. diet change (from euphasids to copepods) increasing energetic cost and increased consumption of anchoveta by coastal species due to its accessibility.These changes seem to increase risk upon the anchoveta stock(IMARPE, 2015c,d).
During the first fishing season of 2015, 99% of the TAC was attained, with 2.56 million tonnes of catches. However, fishing effort increased 17% and CPUE decreased 50% compared to fishing seasons of 2012 and 2013, under normal environmental conditions. As well, a high incidence of juveniles was observed, ranging from 14% to 29% monthly. IMARPE indicates that abnormal conditions may have fostered the mix between juvenile and adult anchoveta (IMARPE, 2015c). The second fishing season of 2015 extended to 31 January, 2016; catches reached 1,083 million tonnes (97.8% of set TAC) (PRODUCE, 2016).
Last updated on 11 May 2016
Since the beginning of this fishery, anchoveta has passed three phases regarding recruitment and biomass levels; a low period from 1950 to 1972, a high level period from 1973 to 1991, and an intermediate period from 1992 to present. Since mid-1990’s, total biomass fluctuated around an average of 8.2 million tonnes in summers and 6.0 million tonnes in winters (IMARPE, 2014c).
The species is strongly dependent on environmental variables, resulting in rapid fluctuations in biomass. Since 2008 an increase in variability amplitude and a trend to more positive anomalies is being observed. As well, since 2009, more pronounced fluctuations characterize biomass estimates (IMARPE, 2014c,d). Cumulative adverse environmental conditions have been affecting the stock since late 2013 and had led to drastic changes in population dynamics, however surveys have shown the ability of this stock to recover rapidly even from prolonged unfavorable conditions (IMARPE, 2014d; IMARPE, 2015d).
According to IMARPE, landings and exploitation rates have been decreasing since 1994, due to more precautionary fishing policies (IMARPE, 2014c). However, fishing mortality or exploitation rates are not regularly published; fishing effort is reported as number of fishing trips and duration of fishing trips (IMARPE, 2014c; 2015c). Landings peaked in 1970 (around 10 million tonnes), dropped to a minimum in 1978 (480,000 tonnes), peaked again in 1994 (around 9 million tonnes). Over the past decade, landings peaked at 8 million tonnes in 2000 and 2004, since 2006 have stabilized around 5 million tonnes and dropped in 2010 to 3 million tonnes, recovering to 4 million tonnes in 2013. In 2014 only the first fishing season was opened, landings were low, 1.7 million tonnes (68% of set TAC). In the first fishing season of 2015 landings were higher than in 2014; 2.56 million tonnes were caught (99% of set TAC).
Last updated on 3 May 2016
Government control of fisheries in Peru is managed by the Ministry of Production (PRODUCE) and the Vice-Ministry of Fisheries. The management strategy for anchoveta is an adaptive program to account for the wide and rapid fluctuations in biomass, typical of this resource, and includes real-time monitoring of the stock to establish management measures and quotas separately for each of the two fishing seasons per year.
TAC setting includes all industrial fishing effort on the northern-central stock of Peruvian anchoveta (Engraulis ringens) and white anchoveta (Anchoa nasus). White anchovy account for only a few percent of total landings, and these two species are managed together under one quota (Young and Lankester, 2013; PRODUCE, 2015a-c).
As of 2009, a Maximum Catch Limit per Vessel regime has been implemented; changing the way the global quota is used, with the aim to reduce the pressure on the fishery and the environment by spacing out the effort over the season (PRODUCE, 2010). Overcapacity from the industrial fleet has been greatly reduced and the length of the fishing season has more than doubled since program implementation. Product quality has increased due to improved handling and timing of deliveries, resulting in a 37% increase in the mean price of anchoveta (Young and Lankester, 2013).
Discarding of fishing resources at sea is not allowed (PRODUCE, 2012d). Other statutory management controls include: seasonal (to protect spawning peaks), spatial (industrial fishing operations off 10 nautical miles from the coast) and temporal closures (to protect juveniles when the proportion is more than 10% of landings in numbers); technical measures such as minimum mesh size (13 mm), minimum landing size of 12cm; landings from artisanal fleets only for human consumption; effort control (one trip per day, satellite positioning system on board. Incidental catches are limited to 5% of total landings (e.g. PRODUCE, 2015a-c).
For 2015 the first fishing season (April-July) had a TAC of 2.58 million tonnes (PRODUCE, 2015b), slightly above IMARPE´s advice.There were numerous preventive closures to protect juveniles during the first fishing season (IMARPE, 2015c). For the second fishing season (November-January 2016), the TAC was set at 1.11 million tonnes, in line with IMARPE’s recommendations (IMARPE, 2015d; PRODUCE, 2015c).
In 2015 both institutions IMARPE and PRODUCE have improved the information publicly available, increasing transparency regarding the management of this fishery.
Last updated on 4 May 2016
Adaptive management is used for this stock due to its strong dependence on environmental variables and rapid fluctuations in biomass (EUR-OCEANS, 2008). Some precautionary measures have been taken to allow the recovery of the stock from adverse environmental conditions, such as closure of the second fishing season in 2014 and lower TAC in second fishing season of 2015 (IMARPE, 2014c-e; IMARPE, 2015b-d).
Last updated on 3 May 2016
TACs and Maximum Catch Limit per Vessel are applied to the industrial fleet; landings by this fleet are for indirect human consumption and represent 99% of total anchoveta catches (Avadí et al, 2014). Peruvian fishing companies representing over 70% of industrial boats have organized themselves into the National Fisheries Society (Sociedad Nacional de Pesquerías, SNP) and developed an Ethical Code of Conduct with responsible fishing as a central theme, including strict compliance with regulations.
Landings in the fishing season of 2014 were 30% below set TAC, and for the first season 2015 landings were 2.56 million tonnes, 99% of set TAC (IMARPE, 2014c; 2015c).
Mendo and Wosnitza‐Mendo (2014) conducted a reconstruction of total marine fisheries catches in Peru, from 1950 to 2010. The correction factor for unreported catches include: discards of excess catch and juveniles, loss of fish blood, underestimation through misreporting by processing plants; illegal landings and irregular sales. For anchoveta the correction factor varied mostly between 15% and 35%, peaking in the early 1970s at well over 30%. In 2010, the estimate for undeclared anchoveta catches by fishing companies was 10%, confirming that the data gathering system needs improvement. Small and medium scale fleets correction factor is on average 35%. These two fleets by law target anchoveta only for direct human consumption and are not managed through quotas. However, it has been reported that catches are also illegally sold for reduction fishmeal plants. These landings represent 1% of total catches; in 2015 these were 64,600 tonnes (PRODUCE, 2015d).
Discarding of fishing resources at sea is not allowed and maximum allowable percentages of anchoveta juveniles in catches is 10% (PRODUCE, 2012c,d). The incidence of juveniles in landings has been between 14 and 29% for the first fishing season in 2015 (IMARPE, 2015c). In consequence of anomalous environmental conditions an increased mixture of juvenile and adult anchoveta is observed, leading to high proportions of juveniles in catches. During the first fishing season of 2015, on board observers reported discards in 6% of fishing trips, 2% due to excess in catches and 4% due to high incidence of juveniles. However, discarded volumes are not reported and the overall magnitude could not be estimated (IMARPE, 2012b; 2014a; 2015c). Juveniles’ discards may have increased considerably in the last 5 years (Paredes, 2014). Fablet et al. (2012) provided a tool to discriminate juvenile and adult anchovy school clusters from industrial fleet acoustic data, but it is not known if it has been tested to present.
Last updated on 4 May 2016
Anchoveta, a key species of the Humboldt Current ecosystem, is influenced by environmental events (El Niño) and is the main prey (along with sardines) of some Protected, Endangered and Threatened (PET) species: Humboldt penguin Spheniscus humboldti (Vulnerable, 2010; IUCN Red List), Peruvian diving-petrel Pelecanoides garnotii (Endangered; 2010 IUCN Red List), Guanay cormorants Phalacrocorax bougainvillii (Near threatened; 2010 IUCN Red List), Fur seals Arctocephalus australis (Least Concern; 2008 IUCN Red List) and Sea lions Otaria byronia (Least Concern; 2008 IUCN Red List) (Tasker et al., 2000; Smith et al., 2011). The main threat posed by this fishery consists of reduction of food availability due to heavy fishing and impact on the breeding success of seabirds (Gislason, 2003). The efficiency of breeding seabirds may be significantly affected by not only the global quantity, but also the temporal and spatial patterns of fishery removals, thus an ecosystem approach to fisheries management should limit the risk of local depletion around breeding colonies using, for instance, adaptive marine protected areas (Bertrand et. al., 2012). Also, there are reports from the 1960s which state that Humboldt penguins were captured by nets belonging to the anchovy fishery; however, there are no recent reports addressing this issue.
Anomalous environmental conditions since 2013 are considered the main cause for the increased diversity in the pelagic ecosystem, and therefore a higher number of non-target species caught as bycatch in the anchoveta fishery in 2014 and 2015, associated with prolonged warm water anomalies (IMARPE, 2015c,d), e.g. Smooth hammerhead (tiburón martillo, Sphyrna zygaena) which is categorized as “Vulnerable” by IUCN (IUCN, 2016) and has been included in Appendix II of CITES in 2013 (PRODUCE, 2015e).
In mid-2014, Peru approved the National Plan of Action for the conservation and management of chondrichthyes (PRODUCE, 2015e).
IMARPE records seabirds and marine mammals’ observations during hydroacoustic surveys (IMARPE, 2015e).
OTHER TARGET AND BYCATCH SPECIES
Last updated on 4 May 2016
There is an on-board observer program in the industrial anchoveta fleet, however coverage is not informed. Peruvian law allows just up to 5% of non-target species bycatch in weight in this fishery (e.g. PRODUCE, 2015b,c). IMARPE reports bycatch species and frequency of occurrence in hauls per fishing season (e.g. IMARPE, 2015c); although no quantitative weight estimates are available. Chilean jack mackerel (Trachurus murphyi) and Chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus) are mentioned as the main incidental species in the anchoveta industrial fishery (IMARPE 2014a).
Anomalous environmental conditions since 2013 are considered the main cause for the increased mixture of juvenile and adult anchoveta, and therefore a higher incidence of juveniles in catches. On board observers reported discards in 6% of fishing trips, 2% due to excess in catches and 4% due to high incidence of juveniles. However, the magnitude of discards could not be estimated. As well, observers recorded a higher number of non-target species, similarly to in the fishing season 2014, associated with higher diversity in the pelagic ecosystem due to prolonged warm anomalous conditions (IMARPE, 2015c,d).
Last updated on 2 March 2015
Anchoveta is caught by the mixed small pelagics purse seine fishery in Ecuador in the southern coast since 2001 Instituto Nacional de Pesca, 2009).
In recent years, the most important species in catches have been chub makarel (Scomber japonicus, bullet mackerel (Auxis spp.), thread herring (Ophistonema ssp.), Pacific anchoveta (Cetengraulis mysticetus) and Chilean jack mackerel (Trachurus murphyi. Anchoveta has been the most significant species in total catches in 2007/2008 (Instituto Nacional de Pesca, 2009), however currently is a secondary species for this fleet with occasional catches, ranging from 0 to 6% from total small pelagics landings (around 200,000 tons) since 2010 (Instituto Nacional de Pesca, 2015).
Last updated on 4 May 2016
There is no direct impact on bottom habitats from purse seine, unless it is used in waters shallower than the nets height. Since 2012, industrial vessels can only operate outside the 10 nm from the coast; low-scale vessels (10 to 32.3 m3) between 5 and 10 nm and the artisanal fleet (less than 10 m3) can only operate within 5 nm in order to protect coastal habitats and spawning and breeding zones for several species (PRODUCE, 2012b; IMARPE, 2014a).
The main impact of the fishery on the ecosystem occurs via the impacts on the trophic chain, as anchovy is a forage species. A negative trend was observed for anchoveta landings from 1990 to 2012, what was also seen for other commercial species which rely on anchoveta directly or indirectly through the trophic chain, underpinning the key role of anchoveta in Peruvian marine ecosystem (IMARPE, 2014a).
Anchoveta is highly dependent on environmental events; periodically, the upwelling that drives the Humboldt Current Large Marine Ecosystem’s productivity, where the fishery operates, is disrupted by El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. Spatiotemporal variability affecting anchoveta (not only by the ENSO, but also at different temporal scales) has been studied by several authors (Ballón et al., 2011; Bertrand et al., 2011; IMARPE, 2012a,b; Espino and Yamashiro, 2012; Espinoza and Bertrand, 2014, among many others). During ENSO events, fish abundance and distribution are significantly affected, often leading to stock crashes and cascading social and economic impacts. These events cause regime shifts where anchovies and sardines alternate as the dominant species in the ecosystem. Still, both anchovy and sardine fisheries’ collapses can be attributed to a combination of El Niño events, decadal shifts towards less productive conditions and overfishing (Bertrand et al., 2011).
Recently, IMARPE reported ecosystem adjustments to prolonged warm anomalous conditions since late 2013, e.g. higher diversity in the pelagic ecosystem, high mixture of juvenile and adult organisms in anchoveta schools, diet change by anchoveta (from euphasids to copepods) andincreased consumption of anchoveta by coastal species due to its accessibility.These changes seem to increase risk upon the anchoveta stock (IMARPE, 2014a,c; 2015d).
Last updated on 11 May 2016
As of December 2009, there are two Marine Reserves in Peru: Paracas Marine Reserve – extension of 335,000 ha of which 65% correspond to sea waters, created to protect wildlife, especially seabirds such as the Humboldt penguin; the National Reserve of Islands, Islets and Guano Headlands System – contains 22 islands and islets and 11 headlands (140,833 ha) and was created to preserve the continuity of the biological cycle of species that inhabit it and to help preserve fish stocks which straddle its vicinity (Cedepesca, 2010; CPPS, 2010). The effects of these reserves on mitigating fishery impacts on the ecosystem are unknown (Cedepesca, 2010) research is in progress.
The creation of a third marine reserve has been proposed to protect an area within the tropical sea ecoregion in Peru (Peru Pesquero, 2015).