Certifier : 
Control Union (UK) Limited
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
10 Mar 2010
Certificate expires : 
19 Mar 2027


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

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Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) 2022 11,698.3

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

This fishery combines two previously 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.

Euronor saithe fishery vessel image © Euronor

Market Information

Fresh and frozen saithe fillets from this fishery are mainly sent to Spain, France, Eastern Europe and Russia.