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Saithe

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General

Cod-like fish

Cod-like fishes belong to the Gadidae family. This includes the Atlantic and Pacific cod, pouting, haddock, whiting, European pollock, Alaska pollock and saithe. They live near the seabed in coastal waters and in deeper waters. During the day, they aggregate in schools. At night, they separate to forage independently. Gadidae are omnivorous fish that feed on worms, molluscs, bivalves, crustaceans and small fish. They migrate over large distances to spawn and to hunt on large schools of herring and smelt.

 

 

Saithe

Saithe is a species of fish that belongs to the same family as cod. There are two very similar species: saithe and pollack. Pollack in the UK is called Atlantic or European pollock in the US. Although pollack can reach the same size as saithe, the maximum life span of pollack is shorter by about 8 years old. Saithe can grow up to 130 cm and get 25 to 30 years old and is native to the western and eastern Atlantic Ocean.

 

Saithe

Pollachius virens
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)
Deelgebieden: Norwegian Sea

Farming- / Catch method

Demersal otter trawl, Danish seine, Bottom otter trawl, Midwater otter trawl, Purse seines, Set longlines, Handlines and pole-lines (hand operated), Gillnets

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Explanation assessment

In 2008 the first fishery on saithe became MSC-certifiedMSC Certified:
Fisheries that comply with the Marine Stewardship Council assessment criteria and are certified. Fish products with the blue MSC label are caught by sustainable fisheries.
. Currently most of the European fishery on saithe is MSC-certified: 97% of the catches from the North Sea and the Skagerrak. Saithe from Iceland is also MSC-certified. There are several methods being used: bottom otter trawl, pair trawl, (increasingly) semi-pelagic trawl, purse seine, Danish seine, gillnet, longlines and handlines.

 

Saithe

Pollachius virens
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Purse seines, Anchored gillnets, Set longlines

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

Saithe is vulnerable to fishing pressureFishing pressure:
Fishing pressure is a result of the fishing effort/amount of fishing on a stock, which determines the fishing mortality. Fishing mortality is the share of the fish stock that dies annually as a result of fishing.
because this species becomes sexually mature at a relatively high age. After a period of recovery, the Iceland saithe stock has recovered fully and is not subjec to being overfishedOverfished:
A stock is overfished when the stock size has decreased so far that it can no longer produce a maximum sustainable yield. The size of the fish populations is insufficient to reproduce in the long term. 
.

Fisheries with gillnetsGillnets:
A fishing technique whereby passing fish get caught in the meshes with their gills. The net stands vertically on the bottom or hangs on buoys in the water column. The by-catch of species such as porpoises and dolphins is a problem related to gillnets.
, longlineLongline:
Also known as line fishing. A fishing method in which lines and hooks are used.
s, and purse-seinesPurse seines:
A ring net in which the net is circulated around a school of fish. Then the net is closed and taken in. This is also called 'purse seine'. 
is relatively selective but can have an impact on the sea floor and vulnerable environments. In addition, protected and threatened speces have been known to become entangled in these nets.

This fishery is managed by catch-limitCatch limit:
The maximum amount of fish of a species caught per country, per year. 
s. In addition, Iceland has several other management measures in place such as minimum mesh-sizeMesh size:
Feature of a trawl: the distance between two wires in a triangle-shaped mesh. The mesh-size determines the size of fish caught in the net. 
s and temporarily and permanently closed areas. Iceland has one of the most effective managementManagement plan:
A management plan describes the management measures (such as catch limits) and their evaluation for one or more fisheries.
plans in place for implementation, compliance and enforcement. The Icelandic management plan for Saithe is sufficient to ensure a stock recovery to the MSYMSY:
Theoretically the greatest possible 'safe' catch, in which fish populations have sufficient size to reproduce in the long term.  
level.

Fish in season

Fish in season is the best quality at that time because the spawning period is over.

Saithe

Pollachius virens
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Danish seine, Bottom otter trawl, Trawls

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

Saithe is vulnerable to fishing pressure because this species becomes sexually mature at a relatively high age. After a period of recovery, the Iceland saithe stock has recovered fully and is not subjec to being overfished.

Fisheries with DanishDanish seines:
A fishing technique whereby one of the lines of the seine net/pit net is anchored. The ship expands the net with a moving motion and turns off when picking up the net.
seines, pelagic-pair-trawlsPelagic pair trawls:
A method whereby two ships pull out a trawl through the water column.  
, and demersalDemersal otter trawls:
A technique in which conical nets are dragged over the ground and are held open by large, square 'otter planks'. The planks also work as a plough, in which fish are hunted into the nets.
otter trawls have a lot of impact on protected and threatened species, like sharks and rays, as they can be caught as bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
and can become entangled in the nets. Trawl fisheries also cause a lot of harm to the seabed and organisms that live on or near the seabed. In time, this can lead to changes in species composition in these areas.

This fishery is managed by catch-limits. In addition, Iceland has several other management measures in place such as minimum mesh-sizes and temporarily and permanently closed areas. Iceland has one of the most effective management plans in place for implementation, compliance and enforcement. The Icelandic management plan for Saithe is sufficient to ensure a stock recovery to the MSY level.

Fish in season

Fish in season is the best quality at that time because the spawning period is over.

Saithe

Pollachius virens
Origin

Northeast Atlanic Ocean: North Sea, Irish Sea, English channel, Iceland, Skaggerak, Kattegat, Sound, Belt Sea, Baltic Sea (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Demersal otter trawl

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

Saithe is vulnerable to fishing pressure because this species becomes sexually mature at a relatively high age. This Saith stock is just within safe biological levels, but the current fishing pressure is still too high in these areas.

The Naturland fishery using demersalDemersal otter trawls:
A technique in which conical nets are dragged over the ground and are held open by large, square 'otter planks'. The planks also work as a plough, in which fish are hunted into the nets.
otter trawls has an unknown impact on protected and threatened species, like sharks and rays, in this area. However the amount of bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
is supposed to be low. In addition, the impact of this fishing method on the seabed and the organisms that live near or on the seabed is lower than that of fisheries in other areas.

This fishery is managed by catch-limits. The management plan for Saithe is largely effective, mainly due to extra measures taken by Naturland for this fishery-project.

Fish in season

Fish in season is the best quality at that time because the spawning period is over.

Saithe

Pollachius virens
Origin

Northeast Atlanic Ocean: North Sea, Irish Sea, English channel, Iceland, Skaggerak, Kattegat, Sound, Belt Sea, Baltic Sea (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Demersal otter trawl

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

Saithe is vulnerable to fishing pressure because this species becomes sexually mature at a relatively high age. This Saith stock is just within safe biological levels, but the current fishing pressure is still too high in these areas.

Fisheries that use demersal otter trawls have a lot of impact on protected and threatened species, like sharks and rays, as they can be caught as bycatch and can become entangled in the nets. Trawl fisheries also cause a lot of harm to the seabed and organisms that live on or near the seabed. In time, this can lead to changes in species composition in these areas.

This fishery is managed by catch-limits. The management plan for Saithe is partially effective in these areas.

Fish in season

Fish in season is the best quality at that time because the spawning period is over.

 

ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.

Avoid

Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.

By-catch

This fish is unwillingly caught while fishing for a different species. They are underused and should be eaten more.

GlobalG.A.P.

GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.

Organic

Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.

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