Certifier : 
UCSL United Certification Systems Limited
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
24 Nov 2010
Certificate expires : 
18 Apr 2027


Fisheries are composed of one or more parts, each of which is entitled to receive an MSC certificate. These parts or “units” are defined by their target stock(s), fishing gear type(s) and if relevant vessel type(s), and the fishing fleets or groups of vessels.

When the term “Unit of Certification” is used for fishing units that are in assessment, it refers to the “Unit of Assessment” or “Unit of potential certification”. Expand a status below to view the parts that form this fishery. To check the detailed scope, download the latest certificate or open the Assessments page to get the latest report. Find out more by visiting our page on Fisheries

Units of Certification & Certificate Information

  • Certified
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Certificate Code
    UoC-0086 Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) Trawls - Bottom trawls - otter trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31582
    UoC-0574 Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) Trawls - Bottom trawls - otter trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31581
    UoC-1155 Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) Trawls - Bottom trawls - otter trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31580

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) 2022 30,324.0
Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) 2022 137,658
Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) 2022 2,781.3

Information is provided by an independent Conformity Assessment Body as live weight (the weight of species at the time of catch, before processing) and where a fishing season covers multiple years, the end year is given as the reported catch year. Additional information is available in the latest report, see the assessments page.

Eligibility, client groups and vessel lists

A fishery may choose to define the members of the fishery certificate. These members can be vessels or other client group members (e.g. companies that own vessels and/or companies that are named as eligible to handle certified product covered within the fishery certificate scope). Please refer to the fishery certificate statement on additional product specific eligibility criteria (e.g. product eligibility limitations, eligibility date, exclusive points of landing and the point where Chain of Custody certificate is required). Please consult the fishery Public Certification Report for product eligibility rationale.

Documents Published on Files
Vessel List 07 Apr 2023 1 files

About this Fishery

The Barents Sea cod and haddock fisheries were first certified as sustainable in 2010. Saithe (or coley) was certified in 2016.

The certified fisheries comprise a fleet of 16 Russian vessels, operating in Norwegian, Russian and international waters. They use a demersal trawl, or bottom otter trawl – a cone-shaped net, with lateral wings extending forward from the opening, that touches the seabed.

The Barents Sea is one of the most important fishing grounds for cod and haddock, and both species play an important role in the ecosystem as a top-tier predators. Reliable stock assessments suggest that populations are in very good shape, and there are robust and well-established management plans in place. Cooperation between Russian and Norwegian fisheries authorities and scientists is strong.

Around 92% of all fish landed are target species. The remaining 8%, which include species such as redfish and wolffish, are also landed (discards are illegal); accidental bycatch is not contributing to an overall decline of these species. However, as a condition of certification, the fishery is making efforts to reduce bycatch.

Harvesting controls are being continually monitored and evaluated to minimise impacts on fish stocks and habitats.

Market Information

Most fish caught are trans-shipped at sea before being landed in the Netherlands for onward shipping. The rest are directly landed to designated plants and storage facilities, mainly in Norway, the UK and Russia.