Certifier : 
Certified status : 
Combined with another assessment
Certified since : 
18 Aug 2012
Certificate expires : 
16 Aug 2022


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 FISF Faroe Islands and Iceland North East Arctic cod, haddock and saithe for more information.

Units of Certification & Certificate Information

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About this Fishery

The Barents Sea is one of the most important fishing grounds for haddock. Reliable stock assessments suggest that populations are in very good shape, and there are robust and well-established management plans in place.

The Faroe Islands has a small number of licences to fish in the Barents Sea, in Norwegian, Russian and international waters. The Faroe Islands fleet accounts for around 1.5% of the total international haddock catch in the region. The same vessels also target cod and saithe. All the vessels are stern trawlers, around 60m long. Around 70 people work on board to catch, process and freeze the catch at sea. The trawl gear is equipped with sorting grids to enable undersized fish to escape. The mesh at the cod-end is 150mm – larger than the statutory 130mm – to further limit capture of small fish.

Research is ongoing in plotting the distribution of sponges, corals and other vulnerable marine habitats in the Barents Sea. Some sensitive habitat areas have been identified and these areas closed to fishing. A typical fishing trip last 6–8 weeks. The season starts in January, most probably fishing off Lofoten where the mature cod aggregate on their way to the inshore spawning grounds.

Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) image © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book