Certifier : 
Acoura Marine Limited trading as LRQA
Certified status : 
Combined with another assessment
Certified since : 
07 Aug 2012
Certificate expires : 
24 Nov 2019


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.


Some or all units that participated in this fishery are now covered by another assessment. Please see the Joint demersal fisheries in the North Sea and adjacent waters for more information.


Units of Certification & Certificate Information

  • No longer in the program
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Status (Units of Certification)
    UoC-0593 Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) Gillnets And Entangling Nets - Combined gillnets-trammel nets 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn
    UoC-0592 Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) Hooks And Lines - Longlines 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn
    UoC-0591 Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) Seine Nets - Boat or vessel seines - Danish seines 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn
    UoC-0714 Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) Trawls - Bottom trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn

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Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) 2017 1,220

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.

About this Fishery

Haddock are bottom-feeding fish that occur mainly in waters 40–200m deep. Haddock mature at around 2–3 years of age. In the North Sea, they spawn anywhere between the eastern Scottish coast and the Norwegian Deeps.

The maximum age of the haddock is said to be 20 years. However the haddock caught today are mostly 2-6 years old and weigh between 400g and 1kg. 

Members of the Danish Fishermen’s Producer Organization (DFPO) fish for haddock in the North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat (the straits between Jutland and Norway/Sweden).

Larger vessels use demersal or bottom otter trawls (single, twin and pair) – cone-shaped nets with a closed cod-end and extending lateral wings, which are towed along the seabed. Certified vessels have a mesh size of at least 10cm to minimise the catch of undersized haddock and non-target species. Danish seines (long nets anchored to the seabed) are also used, as are gillnets or trammel nets.

At shallower depths of 35-60m, vessels may deploy longlines. These have around 250 hooks attached, baited with squid or herring, and around 12-16 lines are used per vessel. 

The fishery’s robust management strategy enables haddock stocks to be maintained at sustainable levels. However, its certification carries a number of conditions to ensure the fishery does not pose a threat to the sustainability of other species. This includes retained species such as cod, nephrops (Norway lobster/scampi) and anglerfish, discarded species such as common skate and spurdog, as well as marine mammals that may be affected by the fishery.

Haddock on ice image © Ulf Berglund

Market Information

Danish haddock is mainly exported, chilled, to the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands.