Certifier : 
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
16 Jun 2016
Certificate expires : 
16 Dec 2021


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

  • No longer in the program
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Status (Units of Certification) Certificate Code
    UoC-1250 Blue whiting(=Poutassou) (Micromesistius poutassou) Trawls - Midwater trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn MSC-F-31251 (F-DNV-202425)

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Blue whiting(=Poutassou) (Micromesistius poutassou) 2017 338,752

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 can be vessels or other client group members (e.g. companies that own vessels and/or companies that are named as eligible to handle certified product covered within the fishery certificate scope). Please refer to the fishery certificate statement on additional product specific eligibility criteria (e.g. product eligibility limitations, eligibility date, exclusive points of landing and the point where Chain of Custody certificate is required). Please consult the fishery Public Certification Report for product eligibility rationale.

Documents Published on Files
Vessel List 30 Dec 2019 1 files

About this Fishery

This North East Atlantic fishery straddles Faroese, EU and international waters. It uses pelagic (midwater) trawls to target the blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou).

Blue whiting only began to be fished in the 1970s, but soon became a significant target species, for use primarily in fishmeal, oil and aquaculture. Today, the fish is also used for human consumption. 

More than a million tonnes of blue whiting were harvested annually in the decade from 1998 to 2008, but stock levels fell dramatically, and much smaller catches were recommended.

In 2005, the EU, Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands agreed on a long-term management plan for the fishery, aiming to control harvests at precautionary levels to ensure long term sustainability. The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) monitor stock levels and advise accordingly.

Market Information

The main markets for the catch are Denmark, France, Poland, Russia and Romania.