Certifier : 
Global Trust Certification Ltd.
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
15 Jun 2013
Certificate expires : 
15 Dec 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.


Some or all units that participated in this fishery are now covered by another assessment. Please see FISF Faroe Islands demersal for more information.

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-0719 Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) Hooks And Lines - Handlines and pole-lines (hand-operated) 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn MSC-F-31374 (F-DNV-137754)
    UoC-0717 Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) Hooks And Lines - Longlines 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn MSC-F-31374 (F-DNV-137754)
    UoC-0716 Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) Trawls - Bottom trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn MSC-F-31374 (F-DNV-137754)

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) 2021 18,008

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 22 Sep 2021 1 files

About this Fishery

Saithe (also called coley) is a whitefish closely related to pollock, common in the North Atlantic. The fish mature at around 5-7 years and spawn along coastal banks, mainly in February when the water temperature is 6-10°C. Following spawning, larvae settle in inshore areas and migrate to the coastal areas at 2-4 years of age.

Smaller saithe feed on crustaceans, while larger saithe are voracious predators feeding opportunistically on sandeel, herring, sprat, Norway pout, haddock and other young fish. They grow rapidly at around 15cm per year for the first three to four years, attaining an average weight of 1.5-2g by age 4. They reach a length of 100cm (10-12kg) at around 14 years of age and can reach a maximum length of around 130cm, weighing 20kg, at 25-30 years old.

The Faroe Islands saithe fishery includes 24 boats from two Faroese companies fishing on the Faroe Plateau and Faroe Bank.

The vessels use a variety of methods. Trawling is mainly used by larger offshore vessels. Vessels operating in deep water as well as smaller inshore boats use longlines. Smaller boats, primarily inshore or on the Faroe Plateau, also use jigs – unbaited hooks with brightly coloured plastic lures.

As a condition of certification, the fishery is committed to strengthening its harvesting strategy and improving monitoring of other retained species such as ling.

Saithe (Pollachius virens) image © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book

Market Information

Faroe Islands saithe is primarily sold in the European Union.