Certifier : 
Control Union (UK) Limited
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
18 Jul 2017
Certificate expires : 
17 Jan 2023


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

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) 2018 20,907

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

The Scottish North Sea cod fishery feeds mainly into the supply chains of the UK foodservice sector. 

Cod stocks in the North Sea peaked at 270,000 tonnes in the 1970s, when Scottish and English cod was widely sold and enjoyed. The stocks had fallen to just 44,000 tonnes in 2006, however a concerted effort has seen stocks rise to a level of 149,000 tonnes in 2015. This was achieved through collectively adopting sustainable fishing practices such as modification of their fishing gear, 'real time' closures, and sea area closures to protect spawning females. 

The Scottish Fisheries Sustainable Accreditation Group (SFSAG), a coalition of producer organisations and one trade body, has already achieved MSC certification for North Sea haddock and northern saithe

"The logical next step in demonstrating that North Sea cod is now sustainable. Getting to this point has required a huge commitment and personal sacrifice from Scottish fishermen, who have worked hard to recover North Sea cod."
- Mike Park, chairmen of SFSAG, 2016

Market Information

The fishery feeds mainly into the supply chains of the UK foodservice sector supplying a variety of fillets and cuts in fresh and frozen formats. Over 90% of the cod servings (114m) can be attributed to fish and chips.