C100425 and C100431

The Product

General Name: Anchovies


Alternative names: Fr – Anchois, Sp – Boquerón

The fishers

These anchovies were fished by F/V Nuevo Aires Ason, owned by Cofraidapscadres San Gines (Licence No. 249861702021317, Registered in Spain). There are 145 to 176 purse seine vessels licenced for this fishery. The vessels listed below contributed to the catch of your anchovies:

FAO Area: FAO 27.8.B

Port: Colindres, Spain

Authority: The local fishing authorities of Cantabria in Northern Spain

Seasonal information: No seasonal dates identified.

The Method

Small Purse Seine Nets

Fish harvesters encircle a large wall of netting around schools of sardines (or other small pelagics) and pull the bottom of the netting closed, like a drawstring purse, to capture the fish. Purse seine boats will often have a rowing boat sized skiff with an outboard engine that is sent out to form and close the circle.  Sardine purse seiners leave their home harbour in the evening to return at dawn as sardines are fished at night when they are feeding closer to the surface.

The Species


The most renown anchovy is fished and processed off the Cantabrian coast (North Spain) but it's a species that can be found almost everywhere - in Argentina, Peru. Morocco, S Africa, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and even all the way up to Norway. Anchovies are mainly a coastal marine species forming large schools and entering lagoons, estuaries and lakes during spawning. They typically feed on plankton and spawn from April to November, peaking in the warmest months. The body of the European anchovy is round and nearly cylindrical with a pointed nose and forked tail. This species has a silver stripe along the flank that disappears with age. In many countries anchovy is turned into fish oil for Omega 3/fish oil supplements or into fish meal for feeding farmed fish and even other animals.

The Location:

Cantabria/North Spanish Coast & Bay of Biscay


Eco-ratings/certifications: MSC Certified

Resource Management: This fishery is managed by the Secretaría General de Pesca of Spain, part of the Ministyr of Agriculture with devolved responsibility to the regional government of Asturias and the Basque Country who share the resource.

Local Management: See above

Monitoring & Traceability: All landings to government auction house where catch details are registered.

Conservation Measures: A number of controls address conservation in the anchovy seine fishery. These include: Licensing of vessels, restrictions on fishing gear, annual total allowable catch allocated between France and Spain and fishing area and time closures.

By-catch/discard: Highly targetted fishery.

Endangered Species: No impact.

Eco-system damage: Purse seining has a low impact on marine habitats and the sea bottom is not affected.

How is it made?

Anchovies are a semi preserved “raw” fish product preserved by salting. The anchovies are cleaned and placed in salt for 6 months. They are then peeled, washed and trimmed, left to dry and then filleted by hand. It’s a delicate and labour intensive job given the small size of the fish.

Production: The first stage of the production is made on site in Cantabria and is then finalised in Sicily or Tunisia using a local extra virgin first cold pressed Sicilian organic olive oil.

Social factors: Our manufacturing partner is a family owned business near Sciacca in Southern Sicily with generations of experience. Due to fish availability and processing issues the company has extended it’s operation to North Spain where the world famous Cantabrian anchovy is fished as well as to Tunisia maintaining the tradition of artisan salting and quality hand production.

Political factors: No issues