Certifier : 
Vottunarstofan Tun EHF
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
10 Sep 2014
Certificate expires : 
10 Sep 2019


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. 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 feed more on fish.

Saithe occurs all around Iceland but is less common in colder waters at the north and east coasts. It is found at different depths, from the surface to 450m. The size of saithe in Icelandic catches is generally 70-110cm; the largest fish caught around Iceland was 132cm.

The Icelandic Sustainable Fisheries (ISF) saithe fishery lands around 50,000 tonnes of saithe each year using various fishing methods, including bottom trawls, handlines, longlines and Danish seine nets.

While stocks were assessed as sustainable and well managed, the fishery certification includes an agreement to put in place further conservation and management measures for vulnerable marine habitats. This will ensure that delicate structures such as hydrothermal vents and large sponges receive a formal protection in the fishery management.

The ling component of the fishery entered assessment in 2016. 

ISF Iceland fisherman image © Gunnar Þorsteinsson