California Anchovy

(year round)

Also known as the Northern Anchovy


The Meat:

Despite their diminutive size, anchovies are a bold and flavorful little fish. Add them to salads, home baked pizzas, or turn them into boquerones.


Your anchovies will always arrive whole. If you are not cool with processing your fish you might want to avoid anchovies, and perhaps not sign up for the Neptune's Delight package. Small whole fish is an exciting feature of the Neptune's Delight package, so if you enjoy them, sign up for that! Here's how to make boquerones.

Health concerns:

I've been eating whole anchovies for 25 years. In fact I've eaten more than the average sea lion. But for legal purposes I should point out that if there is something harmful in an anchovy it will mostly be found in the guts. Because they are filter feeders it is conceivable that an anchovy could pick up red tide toxins. So gut your anchovies. Also, most of the parasites in a fish will be found in the guts.

Gear and fishery info:

These are caught in or near SF Bay and down in the Half Moon Bay area. The gear type is purse seine. The bycatch is minimal or non-existent. Anchovy stocks are doing very well. Anchovies have been here for millions of years and hence, have adapted survival strategies that make their populations less susceptible to huge cycles of abundance and decline we see in sardine stocks. Occasionally I catch these guys myself by use of a special small mesh throw net. Take my tour and I'll teach you how to do this yourself!

Fish Nerdism 101:

If the Pacific Ocean is to continue on as the greatest source of wild food on the planet, human beings (especially mainstream US seafood consumers) will need to start feeding lower on the food chain. This doesn't mean you have to give up halibut and albacore, but you might (every now and again) try a smaller fish. Something that doesn't live very long, doesn't accumulate toxins and is designed by evolution to withstand massive amounts of predation. 

Parting Shots

The anchovies you get from me are pretty much the freshest thing I have to offer (even fresher than the nightsmelt I catch the night before delivery) there are several reasons for this. The main one being that the boats that catch anchovies dock 100 yards away from the warehouse where all our fish are processed, and they bring them in alive.

  • Scientific Name:                       Engraulis mordax


  • Habitat:  They swim in large schools near the surface of the ocean. Anchovies move short distances along the shore and offshore. Estuaries and bays provide important habitat for the northern anchovy, which spends significant time in these habitats.


  • Diet: They feed upon krill, copepods, and decapod larvae, and collect food via filter feeding and active predation. When filter feeding, water and zooplankton pass through its large gaping mouth as it swims.  Apart from nonselective filter feeding, northern anchovies have also been observed 'pecking' at larger prey. Adult northern anchovies typically attack prey only once and rarely make a second attempt in the event that prey escape.


  • Size: Up to about up to about 7 inches.


  • Range:  Northern anchovy are found off the west coast of North America, from Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia, Canada, to Cabo San Lucas in Baja California, Mexico, and in the Gulf of California.




2010 - present

2010 - present