Certifier : 
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
23 Feb 2018
Certificate expires : 
23 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-1500 European sprat (Sprattus sprattus) Surrounding Nets - With purse lines (purse seines) 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-30034
    UoC-1496 European sprat (Sprattus sprattus) Trawls - Bottom trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-30034
    UoC-1497 European sprat (Sprattus sprattus) Trawls - Midwater trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-30034
    UoC-1490 Lesser sand-eel (Ammodytes marinus) Trawls - Bottom trawls: Bottom trawl (including midwater trawl) 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) MSC-F-30034
  • No longer in the program
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Status (Units of Certification) Certificate Code
    UoC-2078 Blue whiting(=Poutassou) (Micromesistius poutassou) Surrounding Nets - With purse lines (purse seines): Purse Seine 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn
    UoC-2080 Blue whiting(=Poutassou) (Micromesistius poutassou) Trawls - Bottom trawls: Bottom trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn
    UoC-2079 Blue whiting(=Poutassou) (Micromesistius poutassou) Trawls - Midwater trawls - pair trawls: Pelagic trawls and midwater pair trawl 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn
    UoC-1491 Lesser sand-eel (Ammodytes marinus) Trawls - Bottom trawls: Bottom trawl (including midwater trawl) 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn MSC-F-30034
    UoC-1486 Lesser sand-eel (Ammodytes marinus) Trawls - Bottom trawls: Bottom trawl (including midwater trawl) 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn MSC-F-30034
    UoC-1492 Norway pout (Trisopterus esmarkii) Trawls - Bottom trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn MSC-F-30034
    UoC-1493 Norway pout (Trisopterus esmarkii) Trawls - Midwater trawls: Midwater trawl (including purse seine) 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn MSC-F-30034

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
European sprat (Sprattus sprattus) 2021 1,109
Lesser sand-eel (Ammodytes marinus) 2021 146,442
Norway pout (Trisopterus esmarkii) 2020 63,777

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
Vessel List 20 Dec 2022 1 files

About this Fishery

The Norwegian fishery for North Sea sprat mainly uses trawls and, to much lesser extent, purse seine nets. Sprat fishing in the North Sea is dominated by a Danish fleet. 

Denmark and Norway are the dominant players catching sandeel. The fishery is now very limited in the Norwegian exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and is regulated by a total allowable catch (TAC). 

Fishing for pout is conducted with fine mesh trawls in deep water along the Norwegian Trench towards Fladen. The landings had a peak in 1974 at 740,000 metric tons (MT) but the fishery has been strictly regulated since then with large area closures and bycatch limitations. In 2010 mandatory sorting grids were introduced to further limit bycatch.

Market Information

The main products are fish meal and fish oil, feeding into global markets. The aquaculture industry is a major recipient.