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Media Coverage

The Ocean’s Unsung Heroes – Hooray for the Little Guys!
August 21, 2013
National Geographic NewsWatch Ocean Views

Don't Hold the Anchovies
June 27, 2013

The Ten Best Ocean Stories of 2012
December 18, 2012
“Surprising Science” - Smithsonian.com

Big Victory for Little Fish (and the Future of the Oceans)
November 14, 2012
HuffPost Green

Little Fish in a Big Pond
November 1, 2012
The Scientist

Contributions of forage fish worldwide explained
September 11, 2012

Globally, little forage fish net big profits
September 10, 2012

Cutbacks of small fish catches will yield big gains
August 23, 2012
Environmental Industry




Meeting of Ireland’s National Parliament’s Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine
October 17, 2013
Dublin, Ireland

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council - Forage Panel Workshop
April 11, 2013
Raleigh, NC

Herring School Workshop
February 5, 2013
Simon Fraser University
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

November 13, 2012
Nantes, France

Northeast Fisheries Service
September 12, 2012
Woods Hole, MA

COFI 2012
July 9-13, 2012
Rome, Italy

European Parliament
July 12, 2012
Brussels, Belgium



News Releases

Expert Task Force Recommends Halving Global Fishing for Crucial Prey Species

Study provides first-time analysis of three distinct contributions of forage fish worldwide

Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force Holds Pivotal Meeting.

Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force travels to Peru and examines largest forage fishery in the world



Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force travels to Peru and examines largest forage fishery in the world

The Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force traveled to Paracas, Peru for its third workshop in May 2010. Peru is located at the epicenter of the Northern Humboldt Current, an upwelling area that produces very high levels of fish biomass, particularly of the forage fish Engraulis ringens, or Peruvian anchoveta. The town of Paracas is located about three hundred kilometers south of Lima, and is a hub for anchoveta landings and fishmeal plant processing. It is also in close proximity to a marine reserve famous for wildlife such as guano birds, Humboldt penguins, sea lions, and fur seals. Members of the task force took several field trips to Punta San Juan, the Paracas National Reserve, and the Ballestas Islands to view these anchoveta predator colonies.


Members of the Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force member and staff, on the coastline in Paracas, Peru.

The task force met with various scientists, managers, and industry representatives while in Paracas, and learned an extensive amount about the biology of anchoveta and the history and present state of the fishery management system. The anchoveta population is highly variable based on environmental conditions, particularly El Nino, and the management system is designed to avoid collapse by closing the fishery when biomass drops below a threshold of four million tons. Still, the anchoveta fishery catches a reported six million metric tons per year, and is one of the largest fisheries in the world. The task force was able to learn in great detail about recent management improvements as well as remaining issues centering on monitoring and enforcement.

The task force was able to view firsthand the tremendous capacity of the anchoveta fishery by visiting a fishmeal plant in Paracas. There are approximately 164 fishmeal plants along the coast of Peru, each with the capacity to process thousands of tons of fish per hour. Most landed anchoveta are processed into fishmeal and oil, which are exported to other countries for industrial use. Very little anchoveta is utilized for human consumption, but that amount has been recently increasing due to concerted campaigns towards chefs and consumers.

The task force used the information from the Peru workshop and site visits as it formulated its recommendations and final report, which will be released in April 2012.

group inspect catch

Task Force members Selina Heppell, Bob Steneck, Keith Sainsbury, and Ed Houde inspect catch at the local Paracas fish market.


Task Force members listen to a presentation given by TASA fishmeal plant personnel.

anchoveta catch

Task Force members view incoming anchoveta catch to the TASA fishmeal plant for processing.

viewing fish oil product

Task Force members view fish oil product after anchoveta are heated and processed.

bird colony

A guano bird colony in the Ballestas Islands, off the coast of Peru. Guano birds include Peruvian boobies and Guanay cormorants, whose diets are highly dependent on anchoveta as prey. Guano deposits were a major Peruvian export and sustained the Peruvian economy for decades.

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