Certifier : 
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
16 Jun 2008
Certificate expires : 
16 Dec 2028


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-0035 Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) Gillnets And Entangling Nets - Gillnets 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31375 (F-DNV-60006)
    UoC-0037 Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) Hooks And Lines 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31375 (F-DNV-60006)
    UoC-0036 Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) Seine Nets - Boat or vessel seines - Danish seines 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31375 (F-DNV-60006)
    UoC-0034 Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) Surrounding Nets - With purse lines (purse seines) 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31375 (F-DNV-60006)
    UoC-0033 Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) Trawls - Bottom trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-31375 (F-DNV-60006)

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) 2022 197,212

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

Saithe (Pollachius virens) © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book

Norway's North East Arctic saithe fishery was first MSC certified in 2008, alongside North Sea saithe. Both fisheries were recertified in 2013.  

The North-East Arctic saithe is found along the coast of Norway and Russia in depths of up to 400m. Fish mature between five to seven years and spawn along the coastal banks from Lofoten to the North Sea, mainly in February when the water temperature is 6-10 degrees Celsius.

Norway has around 50 % of the total allowable catch from the North Sea saithe stock. While other nations mainly use bottom trawling, the Norwegian saithe fishery uses a variety of methods. In a typical year, about 80% of the Norwegian catch is taken by bottom trawl, 10% by gillnets and long-line, 10% from purse seine nets and a small amount with other fishing gears.

Both Norwegian saithe fisheries have undergone various improvements in practice since certification. 

"Since the Norwegian saithe fisheries first engaged with the MSC program in 2006, several developments have taken place. Additional research on bottom impacts was conducted, and understanding of bycatch and interaction with endangered threatened and protected (ETP) species has further improved. As part of the current certification it is anticipated that such improvements will continue to be made. These developments are testament to the commitment from the Norwegian industry to assure sustainability in their fisheries."

- Camiel Derichs, MSC Regional Director Europe on the second certification of the Norwegian saithe fisheries. 

Market Information

Most saithe is exported - to West- and Eastern Europe, the Caribbean and South America.