Certifier : 
Control Union (UK) Limited
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
25 Jan 2011
Certificate expires : 
08 Sep 2016


This fishery is the merger of two certified fisheries and covers the North East Atlantic, including areas in the North Sea, West Scotland and Arctic.

Saithe (Pollachius virens) is a member of the cod family, and occurs only in the northern Atlantic. Saithe are distributed in coastal waters until they reach maturity at about three years, after which they migrate offshore and live in depths from 200m to 400m. Adult saithe are widely distributed in the deeper waters of the north Atlantic from the Barents Sea, around Greenland and Iceland reaching as far south as the Bay of Biscay.

Saithe were once widely consumed, and are still known locally by a range of names including blockan, coalfish (reflecting the fish’s dark, almost black pigmentation of the back), cuithe, gilpin and sillock. For modern marketing they are now usually referred to as coley.

In this fishery the saithe are caught using demersal otter trawling, where a cone-shaped net is towed behind a vessel close to and/or in contact with the seabed.