Anchovy, a small, silver-blue food fish found in warm and temperate sea waters in many parts of the world. A few species enter freshwater streams. The anchovy is 2 to 10 inches (5 to 25 cm) long. The common European anchovy, abundant along the Atlantic coast and in the Mediterranean and Black seas, is sold fresh, salted, canned, and as a paste. The anchoveta, or Peruvian anchovy, is found in the Atlantic Ocean from Peru to Chile. The anchoveta is ground into fish meal for use in livestock feeds and sold fresh for human consumption. Anchoveta oil is an important export of Chile and Peru.
Anchovies are commonly added to such foods as pizza, salads, and sauces.
Anchovies belong to the family Engraulidae. The European anchovy is Engraulis encrasicholus, and the Peruvian anchovy is E. ringens. The North American west coast anchovy is E. mordax. The bay anchovy that is abundant from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to the Yucatán Peninsula, in Mexico, is Anchoa mitchelli.