Barents Sea cod and Barents Sea haddock
Certified as sustainable in November 2010.
Species: Cod (Gadus morhua) & Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus)
Location: Barents Sea - ICES Areas I and II. Within Norwegian and Russian EEZ and International Waters
Fishing methods: Demersal trawl
Number of fisheries: 2
More about cod and haddock
Cod is a benthopelagic species (0 – 600m, but typically 150 – 200m), which is widely distributed in a variety of habitats in Northern temperate waters, from the shoreline down to the continental shelf and from the arctic polar front to a latitude of around 35°N (up to 20°C). The North East Arctic stock in the Barents Sea, which is the subject of this assessment, is one of the most important cod stocks, along with the Icelandic stock.
In the Barents Sea, Cod are an important predator species acting as a keystone species. It feeds on a wide range of prey, including larger zooplankton species, most available fish species and shrimp. Cod prefer capelin as a prey and feed on them heavily as they migrate into southern and central regions to spawn. Strong trophic relationships exist between cod, capelin and euphasiids.
Haddock is a demersal; marine species, widely distributed in temperate northern waters within the 10-450m depth range (79°N - 35°N, 76°W - 52°E). In the Northeast Atlantic haddock are distributed from the Bay of Biscay to Spitzbergen; the Barents Sea to Novaya Zemlya; (around Iceland); and more rarely, around southern Greenland. In the Northwest Atlantic, haddock is less widely distributed, but important populations occur from New Jersey to the Strait of Belle Isle.
Depending on the region, spawning lasts from about January to June with fish moving to their spawning grounds in winter. These are at a depth of 50 to 200 metres where at this time the average temperature is about 5°C.
More about the fishing methods
Both fisheries use the same system of capture – demersal trawl, or bottom otter trawl – a gear designed and rigged to have bottom contact during fishing. A demersal trawl is a cone-shaped net consisting of a body, closed by a cod end and with lateral wings extending forward from the opening. The two towing warps lead from the vessel to the otter boards which act as paravanes to maintain the horizontal net opening. These boards weigh 2 - 4 tonnes and drag across the seabed. The boards are joined to the wing-end by the bridles which herd fish into the path of the net. The net opening is framed by a floating headline and ground gear designed according to the bottom condition to maximise the capture of demersal target species, whilst protecting the gear from damage. On very rough substrates special rock hopper gears are used.
65,535 tonnes of cod and 23, 837 tonnes in 2009.
Most fish caught are trans-shipped at sea before being landed in Holland for onward shipping with the rest being directly landed to designated plants and storage facilities mainly in Norway, UK and Russia.
Actual eligibility date
27th February 2010