Certifier : 
Bureau Veritas Certification
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
24 Mar 2015
Certificate expires : 
24 Mar 2020


The Cantabrian Sea –south of the Bay of Biscay – is famous for the quality of its anchovies. But the fishery was closed between 2005 and 2010 to enable it to upgrade its management methods. Five years later, it became the first anchovy fishery in Europe to achieve MSC certification.

Anchovy fishing operations are conducted in the Cantabrian Sea using purse seine nets – an artisanal fishing method which is the preferred technique for capturing fish species such as anchovy which school, or aggregate, close to the surface. Most fish are caught between March and June.

The certification process was led by the San Martin de Laredo fishermen’s guild, the oldest in Spain, and the Federations of Fishing Guilds for the Basque Provinces. The initial certification covers 58 boats, which in 2013 had a total catch of 7,000 tonnes.

"We want our anchovy fishery to be known worldwide for its quality and for the great work performed by our fishermen in favour of sustainability. Consumers can rest assured that they are buying  anchovies that have been captured according to the internationally-accepted sustainability MSC standard and that they will always be able to trace our product back to its source, the Cantabrian Sea." - Miren Garmendia, Secretary, Federation of Fishing Guilds of Gipuzkoa

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Read the story of the Cantabrian Anchovy fishery >

Cantabrian anchovy image © Daniel Grieser / Migros