Certifier : 
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
16 Jun 2008
Certificate expires : 
15 Jun 2023


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.