Certifier : 
Control Union Pesca Ltd
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
03 Oct 2013
Certificate expires : 
02 Oct 2018


This fishery is located in Scottish and Norwegian waters in the northern North Sea, and to the west of Scotland. It comprises 230 vessels and has been certified since 2013.

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.

The SFSAG saithe fleet is a mixed fleet, using various different gears to target a mix of demersal species, of which saithe is not necessarily the main component – Nephrops, whitefish and flatfish are also caught by trawl, pair trawl and seine.

Saithe (Pollachius virensimage © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book