Certifier : 
Control Union Pesca Ltd
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
22 Oct 2010
Certificate expires : 
12 May 2021


“Few fisheries in the world have reached the standard set by the Scottish haddock fleet,” says Claire Pescod of the MSC. The Scottish haddock fleet has long had an excellent reputation for sustainability, and this fishery has been certified since 2010. 

192 vessels target the bottom-feeding fish, which are found at depths of 40 to 200m mostly in the northern and central areas of the North Sea, but can range as far south as the Humber Estuary. Boats use demersal trawls and seines, either singly or in pairs, with pair seine gear being lighter than the equivalent trawl gear and generally reducing fuel costs. 

20 of the boats have trialled CCTV to help with monitoring catches, and the whole fleet has improved its gear to reduce bycatches of cod and spur dog. All nets are governed by the same mesh regulations, which require 120mm mesh cod-ends.

MSC-certified haddock makes up some 30-40% of the total Scottish catch. Some processors are prepared to pay up to 10% more for certified haddock, reflecting a growing customer demand.

“We wanted to offer our customers Scottish haddock and the fishery’s MSC certification gave us an assurance that in doing so, we would be helping to protect both the environment and the long-term livelihoods of Scottish fishing communities.”

- Ally Dingwall, Sainsbury’s

Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) image © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book