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Norway cod and haddock certification status update

  • Inshore and offshore North East Arctic cod catch remains MSC certified until further notice and maximum 6 more months.
  • Offshore North East Arctic haddock has a new MSC certification
  • Inshore North East Arctic haddock no longer MSC certified


Planned changes to the MSC certification of North East Arctic haddock caught by Norwegian fishery, Norges Fiskarlag, came into effect on 26th of April 2021, while its North East Arctic cod certification has been temporarily extended up to maximum 6 more months, the Marine Stewardship Council has confirmed.

Previous MSC certifications included the inshore and offshore stocks of North East Arctic cod and haddock, but the fishery, Norges Fiskarlag, decided to apply for reassessment to the MSC Fisheries Standard for its offshore fishing only.

From 26 April, the offshore haddock catch remains MSC certified while the inshore element is no longer part of the certificate. Both inshore and offshore cod has now a certificate extension of up to 6 months, due to an objection raised by WWF to the recertification off offshore cod.  

In the final stage of assessment to the MSC Fishery Standard, stakeholders can raise an objection to the independent assessor’s Final Report which recommends if a fishery should or should not be MSC certified. The Independent Adjudicator (IA) has approved to proceed on the first ground of the objection relating to disagreement on classification of Golden Redfish as non-ETP species. 

For the time being, MSC certifications for Norway North East Arctic cod and haddock are as follows: 

  • Cod outside and inside 12 nautical miles: current MSC certificate is extended until further notice by maximum 6 months or until such time that the objection process has come to a close.
  • Haddock outside 12 nautical miles: MSC certificate continues with a new five-year MSC certification commencing 26 April 2021.
  • Haddock inside 12 nautical miles: no longer MSC certified after 26 April 2021.  


MSC certified fisheries meet strict science-based criteria for ensuring sustainable fish stocks, minimising environmental impacts, and effectively managing their fishery. Once certified, MSC fisheries undergo annual audits, deliver improvements against any conditions, and are reassessed every five years. 

Details of current fishery assessments and certifications to the MSC Fishery Standard, including any objection that is accepted, are available on the MSC Track a Fishery website. 

Further information

How the MSC meets standards setting best practice 

Evidence that conditions of MSC certification lead to improvements

Read more about the MSC assessment and objections process