Certifier : 
Acoura Marine Limited trading as LRQA
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
25 Jun 2018
Certificate expires : 
30 Jun 2029


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

  • Certified
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Certificate Code
    UoC-1527 Herring (Clupea harengus) Traps: Traps 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31377 (F-ACO-0123)
    UoC-1528 Herring (Clupea harengus) Trawls - Other: Pelagic, semipelagic and demersal trawl 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31377 (F-ACO-0123)
  • No longer in the program
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Status (Units of Certification)
    UoC-1529 European sprat (Sprattus sprattus) Trawls - Other: Pelagic, semipelagic and demersal trawl 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn
    UoC-1523 Herring (Clupea harengus) Traps: Traps 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn
    UoC-1522 Herring (Clupea harengus) Trawls - Other: Pelagic, semipelagic and demersal trawl 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
European sprat (Sprattus sprattus) 2021 13,958
Herring (Clupea harengus) 2022 54,743

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 01 Jul 2024 1 files

About this Fishery

The Finnish Fishermen's Association entered the Baltic herring and sprat fishery for MSC assessment in early 2017. It is the first fishery in Finland to be assessed.   

The fishery uses trawls and traps, with sprat fishing taking place mainly in the Baltic Sea proper and herring in the Bothnian Sea and Bothnian Bay. 

In 2015 the fishery caught around 132,000 tonnes of herring and around 12,000 tonnes of sprat. Both species are important to the fish meal and oil industry, as well as for local consumption and in dietary supplements. 

The Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, responsible for fisheries, has developed a Roadmap to Bioeconomy 2020. The roadmap recognizes the potential of responsible seafood production as an engine of sustainable growth. They also recognise the importance of independent certification. The project is in accordance with the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Finnish action plan.

"Baltic herring and sprat are extremely important species for the Finnish fisheries sector and we are very happy that the first Finnish fishery is entering MSC assessment. We recognise the importance of sustainable fishing and ensuring that this resource is available for future generations. We have also noticed that the fish oil and fishmeal industry in particular is increasingly demanding certified and sustainably sourced raw materials"

- Kim Jordas, the CEO of Finnish Fishermen’s Association

Image: Finnish Fishermen's Association trawler, Huovari © Markku Saiha

Market Information

2015 market data for herring and sprat usage: 41% for animal feed, 30% fish meal, 15% for animal feed exported, 11% exported for foodstuff, 3% for national food consumption.