- Certifier :
- Certified status :
- Certified since :
- 29 Aug 2012
- Certificate expires :
- 28 Feb 2023
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
Catch by Species
|Species||Reported Catch Year||Metric Tonnes|
|Silver smelt (Argentina silus)||2021||8,470|
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 may be vessels or other client group members (client group members may be companies that own vessels and/or companies that are named as eligible to handle product from that fishery).
|Vessel List||17 Aug 2018||1 files|
About this Fishery
Great silver smelt (Argentina silus) image © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book
The greater silver smelt (also known as greater or Atlantic Argentine, herring smelt or simply smelt) is a long-lived fish found around the sub-Arctic rim of the North Atlantic, and as far south as the Bay of Biscay. Although catches are taken throughout the distribution, the three major directed fisheries in the NE Atlantic are off Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Norway.
The greater silver smelt is a deep-water fish that swims in schools close to the seabed, typically at depths between 200m and 600m. Larger fish tend to be found in the deeper water. Greater silver smelt grow slowly, reaching sexual maturity at any age from 4 to 12 years, and reach a length of up to 70cm.
The Faroe Island vessels use lightweight semi-pelagic (bottom-skimming) trawls that are rigged and fished to avoid contact with the seabed. Research is ongoing to map out corals, sponges and other marine habitats in Faroese waters, and several coral areas have been closed to all fishing.
As a small-scale fishery, the impact of the Faroe Islands silver smelt fishery on ecosystems and fish stocks is low. However, as condition of certification, the fishery is supporting more detailed research into the structure of the silver smelt population in order to determine biologically sound harvest limits.
The EU is the main commercial market for Faroe Islands smelt.