Certifier : 
Global Trust Certification Ltd.
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
24 Apr 2012
Certificate expires : 
23 Dec 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-0563 Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) Gillnets And Entangling Nets - Gillnets 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31301 (F-TUN-1104)
    UoC-0565 Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) Hooks And Lines - Handlines and pole-lines (hand-operated) 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31301 (F-TUN-1104)
    UoC-2462 Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) Hooks And Lines - Handlines and pole-lines (hand-operated) 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31301 (F-TUN-1104)
    UoC-0564 Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) Hooks And Lines - Longlines 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31301 (F-TUN-1104)
    UoC-0562 Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) Seine Nets - Boat or vessel seines - Danish seines 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31301 (F-TUN-1104)
    UoC-0561 Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) Trawls - Bottom trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31301 (F-TUN-1104)
    UoC-1348 Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) Trawls - Bottom trawls - nephrops trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31301 (F-TUN-1104)
    UoC-2461 Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) Trawls - Bottom trawls - shrimp trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31301 (F-TUN-1104)
    UoC-0747 Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) Trawls - Midwater trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31301 (F-TUN-1104)

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) 2021 276,067

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 10 Jul 2019 1 files

About this Fishery

Image © James Morgan/MSC

Atlantic cod is found throughout the temperate and sub-Arctic waters of the North Atlantic. Although it is a single species throughout this distribution, it comprises a multitude of populations that show a varying degree of intermixing. The cod around Iceland are more or less isolated from neighbouring cod stocks by the deep water of the Denmark Strait to the west, the Faroe–Iceland channel to the south-east and the Norwegian Sea in the east. 

In terms of weight of fish landed in Iceland, cod is the third most important species. Cod are found throughout the Icelandic waters, mostly at depths less than 200m but extending down to 500m in some areas. 

The Iceland Sustainable Fisheries (ISF) group includes a range of vessels that catch cod. Around half is caught by trawlers. These range from relatively small vessels operating closer to shore to large factory freezer trawlers that fillet the fish at sea, and freeze the fillets, heads and carcasses. Other fishing methods include longline, Danish seine, gillnet and handline.

Visir, one of the companies under the ISF certificate, supplied salted cod to the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

Read the Visir Icelandic cod story > 

Market Information

The main export markets for Icelandic cod are the UK (16%) and Spain (12%), with other western and southern European markets also important. Exports to southern Europe are often dried and salted. There is also a large market for dried cod in Nigeria.