Certifier : 
Control Union (UK) Limited
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
22 Apr 2015
Certificate expires : 
21 Oct 2025


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-1105 Herring (Clupea harengus) Trawls - Midwater trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31184 (MEC-F-030)

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Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Herring (Clupea harengus) 2023 2,113

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.

About this Fishery

Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) image © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book

The Atlantic herring is found throughout the continental shelf waters of the North Atlantic, from the Gulf of Maine to the Gulf of St Lawrence off the east coast of North America, around Iceland, and from the Barents Sea to the English Channel and Celtic Sea in the Northeast Atlantic.

FROM Nord, a French producers’ association established in Boulogne-sur-Mer in 1965, received MSC certification for its herring fishery in 2015. Herring is one of the most important species by volume for FROM Nord and for the region.

Its five artisan trawlers from the north-western part of France target herring using a pelagic (mid-water) trawl, usually 10-20m below the surface. The fishing season starts in October in the southern North Sea, and follows the herring  through  the  winter  months  as  they  move  down  through  the  eastern  Channel, ending in February or March when the quota is exhausted.

The trawl is deployed in short tows – 10 minutes on average and 20 minutes maximum – with the purpose of taking a catch of no more than 10 tonnes of fish at a time to ensure quality. The net is rigged so that fish above this amount can escape via large mesh panels.

Market Information

In the beginning of the fishing season, part of the herring catch is sold as fresh, particularly at herring fairs (‘foires au hareng’) at ports throughout the region. However, later on the majority of the catch is sold fresh to the canneries in Boulogne-sur-Mer and Fécamp.