Certifier : 
Control Union (UK) Limited
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
04 Jan 2011
Certificate expires : 
14 Oct 2026


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

  • No longer in the program
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Status (Units of Certification)
    UoC-0259 Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) Trawls - Bottom trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn
    UoC-0272 Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) Trawls - Bottom trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn
    UoC-2585 Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) Trawls - Bottom trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn

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Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Saithe(=Pollock) (Pollachius virens) 2021 2,918

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 fishery first achieved MSC certification in January 2011. As part of its certification, the fishery committed to developing a strategy for habitat monitoring in fishing areas and implemented a system to avoid fishing in known sensitive habitats.

The reassessment showed a key strength of the fishery through their management system: specifically the control measures with strict monitoring and enforcement by EU, Norwegian and Russian authorities under joint agreements. Measures is including a complete ban on discards – 100% of all fish caught is landed. The fishery was recertified unconditionally for another five years in 2016. 

The target species saithe is fished in the North Sea, West of Scotland and the Norwegian Sea.

The fishery consists of six vessels – one from the UK, four from Germany and one from Poland – using standard demersal rockhopper otter trawl nets equipped with sorting grids to allow juvenile fish to escape. All mesh sizes are at least 120mm, which is slightly larger than the legal minimum in some parts of the fishery. 

Saithe (Pollachius virensimage © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book

Market Information

France is the main commercial market for saithe from this fishery.