Last Update: November 2016

Fishmeal and fish oil are increasingly important products derived from the processing of small pelagic or other low trophic level species. The rising demand of fishmeal and fish oil is due to its high nutritional value, providing an easily digestible and protein-rich resource to the aquaculture and livestock sectors. The rising dependence on fish oil and fishmeal has led to sustainability challenges in the main fisheries supplying raw material. Despite improvements in sustainability made by the fish oil and fishmeal sector during the last ten years, several fisheries around the globe still face serious challenges.

The South America sub-region concentrates some of the most important fish stocks used for the production of fish oil and fishmeal. Species used for marine ingredients in Central and South America include anchoveta, Pacific anchoveta, Araucanian herring, and jack mackerel. Stocks are mainly concentrated in the East Pacific Ocean, along the coasts of Peru and Chile, where anchoveta stocks alone represent approximately 30% of the world’s fishmeal and fish oil.

The South and Central America Reduction Fisheries Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) focuses on monitoring sustainability status and performance of fisheries used for fishmeal and fish oil production. SFP’s approach with this project is to convene suppliers and buyers to support and encourage improvement activities and help meet market requirements.

The SR provides a platform (both physical and virtual) to discuss matters of common interest, identify fisheries where improvements are required, catalyze FIPs, explore models for financing FIPs, and develop procurement specifications promoting sustainability.

Supply Chain Roundtable Participants:

Skretting Chile
Cargill Aqua Nutrition Chile (EWOS)

FIPs and/or Fisheries Covered:

The South and Central America Reduction FisheriesSupply Chain Roundtable focuses on South and Central American reduction fisheries. SFP’s FishSource databases contain sustainability information on the main fish stocks supplying raw material to the marine ingredients industry.

For more details on the sustainability status of the fisheries, progress of the FIPs, and improvement recommendations, please click here.


  • Review status of relevant reduction fishery stocks in South and Central American waters and identify improvement needs.
  • Identify improvement work underway and in need of additional support.
  • Discuss future partnership and cooperation opportunities to improve key fisheries.
  • Encourage industry to initiate fishery improvement projects (FIPs) where improvements are still needed.
  • Monitor and support good progress of FIPs underway.
  • Provide briefings on emerging sustainability issues in the region that may impact supply, certification, corporate reputation, and other areas important to the seafood industry. 

Improvement needs: 

  • Improve research programs using stock assessment models that incorporate catch data and peer reviewers’ recommendations.
  • Ensure continuous transparency by publishing research results in a timely manner, including detailed information on the methodologies used, stock assessment results, catch recommendations, bycatch information, and results of ecological risk assessments, among others.
  • For TAC setting, biomass and fishing mortality reference points and harvest control rules should be established in accordance with scientific advice and should consider the species’ role in the food web.
  • Better data-gathering systems should be developed to ensure appropriate registry of landings and better control and surveillance of catches of juveniles, discarding, misreporting, and bycatch, as well as control of TACs.
  • Promote development and monitor implementation of the management plans being prepared by the management committees in Chile. Expand further coverage of management plans to other over-exploited and collapsed species, taking into account the mixed nature of some fisheries.
  • A coordinated management and research plan between Peru and Chile is needed for the joint stock of anchoveta.
  • Total allowable catch should not exceed scientific advice. Fisheries lacking TACs should set steps to ensure their prompt establishment.


Improvement recommendations for retailers and supply chain:

  • Request that scientific reports are made publicly available before managers set catch limits.
  • Request the design and implementation of adequate fishery management plans with clear recovery and research objectives considering the sustainability issues faced by some of the species.
  • Engage in specific FIPs if you or any of your suppliers source fishmeal from these fisheries.
  • Encourage the Peruvian and Chilean governments to make public clearly explained scientific advice and set catch limits in accordance with scientific advice and that consider the species’ role in the food web. Establish a bi-national fishery management plan for anchoveta and engage in common efforts by Peruvian and Chilean actors involved in the joint stock to pursue joint solutions.
  • Request the Peruvian government to follow recommendations by external peer reviewers to complement the currently applied real-time anchoveta stocks monitoring methodology used as the basis for fishery management, with additional measures that give a greater level of confidence in assessment of stock status.
  • Request that governments and relevant regional bodies establish biomass and fishing mortality reference points and official harvest control rules that considers the species’ role in the ecosystem.
  • Request the prompt implementation of the multi-species fishery management plan with clear recovery and research objectives for addressing the depleted condition of the anchoveta in the central-southern Chilean stock.
  • Encourage your supply chain to work with the governments to collect and make public information on bycatch.

Progress Update:


  • Producers in Chile have signed an agreement to implement a FIP for the Chilean northern anchovy stock. More information can be found here.


January – March 

  • Peruvian and Chilean industry key actors met during the 2016 Americas Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum (Miami) and explored joint paths for improvements in the South American anchovy fisheries.
  • Key actors involved in the Peruvian and Chilean anchovy fisheries are currently preparing a Peru-Chile Anchovy Summit aimed at improving bilateral relationships, enhancing communication, and exploring joint management solutions—with support of scientific and technical advice—for a sustainable fishery.

May – August

  • Pre-assessment for the North Chile-South Peru shared stock is ongoing. The pre-assessment results will serve as the basis for FIP workplan development. 
  • Several meetings were held between SFP and WWF to coordinate efforts related to reduction fisheries both in Chile and Peru. 
  • The Supply Chain Roundtable was established with confirmed participation from Skretting Chile and Cargill Aqua Nutrition Chile (EWOS).

September – November 

  • The new Reduction Fisheries Sector Report was shared with SR participants and regional stakeholders. It triggered a discussion of the evaluation results and exchange with the FishSource scientists on the analysis of FishSource scores.
  • Stakeholders attended a FIP workshop in Guayaquil (Ecuador) organized by Scaling Blue with the support of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, CeDePesca, and WWF Ecuador. The workshop triggered exchanges among existing FIP implementers in the region and served to promote the FIP model.
  • FIP training and technical advice was provided to staff of Vitapro.
  • MSC and SFP conducted a joint meeting with Skretting to provide information on the MSC certification model for the reduction fisheries in the region and how the FIP approach aligns with MSC certification requirements.
  • Further advances were made in planning content and logistics for the Peru-Chile Anchovy Summit (tentatively scheduled for March 2017).
  • The pre-assessment of the North Chile-South Peru shared stock is being finalized. SFP provided support to El Centro de Investigación Aplicada del Mar (CIAM) in revising the MSC pre-assessment and developing a FIP workplan.
  • Peruvian Sociedad Nacional de Pesquería expressed interest in aligning efforts with the North Chile anchovy FIP to cover the whole stock through a coordinated improvement effort. 

Project Contact:

If you would like more information about the Supply Chain Roundtable or wish to support it, please contact SFP.