Certifier : 
Acoura Marine Limited trading as LRQA
Certified status : 
Certified
Certified since : 
08 Oct 2008
Certificate expires : 
07 Apr 2024

Overview

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

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.

Attention

Some or all units that participated in this fishery are now covered by another assessment. Please see the Joint demersal fisheries in the North Sea and adjacent waters for more information.

Units of Certification & Certificate Information

  • Certified
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Certificate Code
    UoC-0025 Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) Trawls - Bottom trawls - otter trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31400 (F-LRF-0021)

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) 2016 6,160.2

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 23 Dec 2020 1 files

About this Fishery

Saithe trawl fishers image © MSC

Saithe (also called coley) is a whitefish closely related to pollock, common in the North Atlantic. In the North Sea, juvenile saithe are mainly found in sheltered bays and coastal waters along the west and south coast of Norway, the coast of Shetland and the coast of Scotland. Around age 3 they gradually migrate from the coastal areas to the northern part of the North Sea. When saithe reach 60-70cm in length their diet changes from plankton to fish.

The German North Sea saithe fishery was the first German fishery to receive MSC certification in 2008 and was redertified in 2013. With a history of good management and only 2% bycatch, it scored highly against the MSC standard and few improvements were required as a condition of certification. Even though the fishery also has a small quota for cod, one of the conditions they had to meet was to lower the cod bycatch to take fishing pressure from the weakened cod stock. To help secure certification, the fishery has taken the following steps:

- new lightweight, adjustable trawl doors minimise impacts on the seabed

- nets made of lightweight yarn reduce fuel consumption and save 20-30% on fuel costs 

- wider net mesh, allowing smaller fish to escape (the mesh size of 125mm is 25% larger than the legal minimum)

- ongoing commitment to further improve environmental performance.

Market Information

MSC certification has opened up the frozen fish market for the saithe fishery, which has reduced its reliance on auctions of fresh fish, where prices vary daily, resulting in a more secure future for the fishery. Most of the fish is processed by the fishery’s processing company Kutterfisch-Zentrale in Cuxhaven that produces fillets and sells them wholesale mainly to German domestic customers but also to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and France.