Certifier : 
Lloyds Register (Acoura)
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
07 Aug 2012
Certificate expires : 
24 Nov 2019


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