Certifier : 
Acoura Marine Limited trading as LRQA
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
05 Aug 2008
Certificate expires : 
03 Mar 2025


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-0030 Northern prawn (Pandalus borealis) Trawls - Bottom trawls - otter trawls 21 (Atlantic, Northwest) MSC-F-31434
  • Suspended
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area
    UoC-1764 Northern prawn (Pandalus borealis) Traps 21 (Atlantic, Northwest)
  • No longer in the program
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Status (Units of Certification)
    UoC-0029 Northern prawn (Pandalus borealis) Trawls - Bottom trawls - otter trawls 21 (Atlantic, Northwest) Withdrawn

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Northern prawn (Pandalus borealis) 2021 2,367

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
List of client group members 31 May 2023 1 files

About this Fishery

Northern prawn are abundant over a vast area from southern Nova Scotia to Baffin Island. The stock has increased substantially over time, and is well above the long-term average.

The Canadian northern prawn trawl fishery is the largest MSC-certified coldwater shrimp fishery in the world. It involves 395 vessels in the range of 15-20m.

The fishery uses otter trawls with a minimum mesh size of 40mm, and fitted with a Nordmore separator grate. Prawns pass through the grate, but other groundfish are directed upwards to an exit triangle in the upper panel. This grate is mandatory in all the fishing areas.

Nets are designed to float just above the seafloor, to allow species such as flatfish to pass below the net entrance.

Market Information

The inshore fleet focuses on the shelled, cooked and peeled prawns, which are primarily processed on land. The main markets are in the US and Europe.