- Pollachius virens
- Lieu noir
The size of saithe in the catch is commonly between 60 and 110 cm. The largest individual caught in Icelandic waters measured 132 cm.
The total catch of saithe in Icelandic waters in 2017 was 53,725 tonnes compared to 53,724 tonnes in 2016.
Icelandic saithe - catch 2013-2017 (tonnes) - Source: Statistic Iceland
The Icelandic saithe is caught throughout the year.
Icelandic saithe - Montly catch 2017 (tonnes) - Source: Statistic Iceland
Icelandic saithe - Catch by fishing gear 2017 - Source: Statistic Iceland
Most of the catch is caught along the continental shelf break, off the south and west coast and deep off the Westfjords.
Icelandic satihe - Catch by fishing grounds 2017 - Source: Marine research institute
Icelandic saithe - Export value by product groups in 2017 - Source: Statistic Iceland
The largest markets are Germany, France and Spain where there is a long tradition of eating saithe. Another large market for the fishing year 2017 was Turkey.
Icelandic saithe - Export value by countries in 2017 - Source: Statistic Iceland
Fisheries management in Iceland is based on extensive research on the fish stocks and the marine ecosystem. A catch limitation system is the cornerstone of the Icelandic fisheries management system. Management is also supported by other measures such as area restrictions, fishing gear restrictions, and the use of closed areas to conserve important vulnerable habitats. Decisions on total allowable catch are made by the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture on the basis of scientific advice from the Icelandic Marine Research Institute (MRI). The international Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) reviews the work of the MRI and also provides scientific advice. Catches are effectively monitored and management decisions are enforced by the Directorate of Fisheries. The system is intended to ensure responsible fisheries and sustainable use of the ocean’s living resources.
The saithe fishery in Iceland was certified in September 2013 to the FAO-based Iceland Responsible Fisheries Management Certification Programme. The certification covers all sectors of the Icelandic saithe fishery within the 200 mile EEZ for all fishing gears.
A chain of custody certification programme has been implemented to allow handlers to demonstrate traceability back to the certified fishery. The certification is an independent third-party certification. The certification confirms responsible fisheries management and good treatment of marine resources.