Certifier : 
Global Trust Certification Ltd.
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
18 Apr 2017
Certificate expires : 
17 Oct 2027


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-1355 Capelin (Mallotus villosus) Seine Nets: Purse-seine 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31299 (F-SAI-025)
    UoC-1354 Capelin (Mallotus villosus) Trawls - Midwater trawls: Pelagic trawl 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31299 (F-SAI-025)

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Capelin (Mallotus villosus) 2021 70,726

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
List of client group members 11 Jul 2019 1 files

About this Fishery

Capelin is the fourth species to be entered into MSC assessment by the Iceland Sustainable Fisheries (ISF) group. Capelin is a small pelagic (midwater) species and part of the smelt family.   

Capelin became a commercially important species for Iceland's pelagic fleet after the collapse of Atlanto-Scandian herring in the late sixties. Last decade, the annual catches fluctuated on average around 350,000 tonnes. Fishing in the North Sea, Icelandic fishermen catch capelin with purse seine nets and pelagic trawls. 

 "ISF was founded to serve the Iceland seafood industry requirements for fishery certifications. Buyers of capelin products have increasingly been asking for MSC certification.This assessment is response to that and we look forward to work through this assessment process." - Kristinn Hjálmarsson, ISF Project Manager

Market Information

Much of the production is exported for fishmeal and fish oil. There are also Eastern European and Japanese markets for frozen capelin roe and frozen whole capelin with roe.