Engraulis ringens 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Clupeiformes Engraulidae

Scientific Name: Engraulis ringens Jenyns, 1842
Common Name(s):
English Peruvian Anchoveta, Anchoveta, Anchovy, Peruvian anchovy
French Anchois du Pérou, Anchois péruvien
Spanish Anchoa, Anchoa bocona, Anchoveta, Anchoveta peruana, Atunera, Chicora, Chicoria, Manchuma, Manchumilla, Peladilla, Sardina bocona
Anchoviella tapirulus (Cope, 1877)
Engraulis pulchellus Girard, 1855
Engraulis tapirulus Cope, 1877
Stolephorus tapirulus (Cope, 1877)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-04-30
Assessor(s): Iwamoto, T., Eschmeyer, W. & Alvarado, J.
Reviewer(s): Carpenter, K., Polidoro, B. & Livingstone, S. (Global Marine Species Assessment Team)
Although this species is under high pressure from fisheries and may be affected by El Niño, it has a wide distribution which includes Marine Protected Areas. Therefore, this species is listed as Least Concern. However, continued monitoring of harvest levels and population trends is recommended to ensure that these pressures do not threaten this species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:In the southeastern Pacific, this species is found from Ecuador to Chile, and can be found in the Galapagos islands as a vagrant.
Countries occurrence:
Argentina; Chile; Ecuador; Peru
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – southeast
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):50
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This is the most heavily exploited fish in world history, yielding 13,059,900 t in 1971, but with great fluctuations and a decline since that year. After the drastic reduction in the harvests of the 80s, influenced by the strongest El Niño of the century (1982-83), in the 90s the harvests began to recover and peaked in 1994 with 12,520,611 t. The fishes are recruited to the fishery at about eight cm standard length at the age of five or six months. They are caught by purse seine (vessels known as bolicheras in Peru). Common fishing techniques are midwater otter trawling and small pelagic midwater trawling. A good summary of the dynamics of this fishery is given by Schaeffer (1967) and the state of the fishery is monitored in publications by the Institute del Mar del Peru in cooperation with FAO (in Bulletins and Reports of the Institute). The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 8,723,265 t. The countries with the largest harvests were Peru (6,740,225 t) and Chile (1,983,040 t) (FAO-FIGI 2001).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is a pelagic, oceanodromous fish that occurs mainly within 80 km of the coast, forming huge schools, chiefly in surface waters. It is found todepths of 50 m. It is a filter-feeder that is entirely dependent on the rich plankton of the Peruvian Current and its northern distribution is limited in Peruvian waters in years when a tongue of warmer and less saline surface water extends southward over the northbound coastal Peruvian Current (the so-called El Niño phenomenon) (FAO-FIGIS 2001, Chen et al. 2004). In some studies, diatoms constituted as much as 98% of the diet of this species. The preferred climate of this species is subtropical (Castro and Hernandez 2000).

Eggs are ellipsoidal and this species breeds throughout the year along the entire coast of Peru. The major spawning is in the winter/spring (July to September) and a lesser one is in the summer (February and March). It also spawns throughout year off of Chile, with peaks in winter (May to July) and the end of spring (especially December). This species matures at about one year (about 10 cm standard length). It attains about eight cm as its standard length in six months, 10.5 cm in 12 months and 12 cm in 18 months, with a longevity of about three years (FAO-FIGIS 2001).
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This is the most heavily exploited fish in world history (FAO-FIGIS 2001). Among other threats, global warming is probably affecting the fisheries of this species (Soto 2002).
This is a highly commercial species, mainly utilized as fish meal. The harvest in 1990 in Peru was 4,017,106 t and in Chile was more than 500,000 t. Seines were used as the main method of harvesting (Watson and Sandknop 1996).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures for this species. However, this species' distribution includes a number of Marine Protected Areas in the tropical eastern Pacific region.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.1. Marine Neritic - Pelagic
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.1. Habitat shifting & alteration
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.3. Temperature extremes
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.2. Intentional use: (large scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - human
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

♦  Food - animal
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Castro, L.R. and Hernandez, E.H. 2000. Early life survival of the anchoveta Engraulis ringens off central Chile during the 1995 and 1996 winter spawning seasons. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 129(5): 1107-1117.

Chen, D., Cane, M.A., Kaplan, A., Zebiak, S.E and Huang, D. 2004. Predictability of El Niño over the past 148 years. Nature 428: 733-736.

FAO-Fisheries Global Information System (FIGIS). 2001. A world overview of species of interest to fisheries. Chapter: Engraulis ringens.

Froese, R., Palomares, M. and Pauly, D. 2002. Estimation of life history key facts of fishes. Available at:

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: (Accessed: 2 September 2010).

IUCN and UNEP. 2014. The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). Cambridge, UK. Available at: .

Robertson, D.R. and Allen, G.R. 2006. Shore fishes of the tropical eastern Pacific: an information system. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Panamá.

Soto, C.G. 2001. The potential impacts of global climate change on marine protected areas. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 11(3): 181-195.

Watson, W. and Sandknop, E.M. 1996. Engraulidae: anchovies. In: H.G. Moser (ed.), The early stages of fishes in California currents, pp. 173-183. California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations Atlas.

Citation: Iwamoto, T., Eschmeyer, W. & Alvarado, J. 2010. Engraulis ringens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T183775A8174811. . Downloaded on 20 June 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided