Certifier : 
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
05 Dec 2013
Certificate expires : 
05 Jun 2024


The cold water prawn (Pandalus borealis) is also known as the pink or northern shrimp. It is distributed across the North Atlantic around the Barents Sea, Svalbard, Iceland and Greenland and south to the North Sea and Massachusetts, and across the North Pacific from the Bering Sea south to Japan and Oregon. All these areas have important commercial prawn fisheries.

Three Faroe Islands vessels fish for prawn in the North East Arctic around in Barents Sea and the Svalbard Fishery Protection Zone, primarily in areas with soft, muddy sediments. Most fishing occurs outside the period when females are carrying eggs.

The certified fleet uses a relatively light otter trawl gear, with “rock hopper” discs that hold the trawl head rope clear of the seabed. This reduces damage substantially relative to a standard trawl, although the trawl doors still come into contact with the bottom. The vessels tend to stay in the same areas, which limits the impact on habitats.

The minimum landing size of shrimp is 6cm, while the average size of shrimp caught by Faroese vessels is around 7-8cm. The fleet uses a large mesh size which prevents the capture of undersized shrimp, as well as obligatory sorting grids which eliminate bycatch of other species.

Levels of prawn in the Barents Sea have remained close to carrying capacity since 1970. However, as a condition of certification the fishery is working on a management plan with clearly defined harvest levels in response to any fall in stock levels.

Cold water prawn (Pandalus borealis) image © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book