Certifier : 
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.

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

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) 2020 22,700

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).

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.