Good Fish Guide
Method of production - Caught at sea
Capture method - Demersal otter trawl
Capture area - North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area - Faroes
Stock detail - Vb
Certification - Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Fish type - White round fish
The coley stock in the Faroes has full reproductive capacity and is in a healthy state. However, fishing is controlled by effort rather than quota and this has led to fishing above the required level. Fishing pressure has however dropped and is below F msy in 2015. Avoid eating immature saithe below about 60 cms and during its breeding time, January to March. To help reduce impact of fishing on fish stocks where fishing effort is too high, the marine environment, and species, choose line-caught fish where available. When buying longline-caught coley ask for fish caught using 'seabird-friendly' methods, see Fishing Methods for details. The longline, demersal otter trawl and jig fisheries were certified as sustainable fisheries by the Marine Stewardship Council in June 2013.
Coley or saithe belongs to the same family as cod and haddock. Coley usually enters coastal waters in spring and returns to deeper water in winter. They spawn from January to March at about 200m depth along the northern shelf edge and the western edge of the Norwegian deeps. Saithe can grow up to 130cm. It is a long-lived species and can reach ages of more than 25 years. They become sexually mature when 5-10 years old and 60-70cm long.
Although the spawning stock biomass (SSB) has decreased substantially since 2005 it is above MSY Btrigger, apart from in 2012 and 2013, and has increased steadily since that time. Estimated recruitment in 2015 was well above the long-term average. Fishing mortality (F) has been mostly above FMSY from 1981 but has dropped below FMSY in 2015.The stock now has full reproductive capacity and is being fished sustainably.
An effort management system based on the number of fishing days, closed areas and other technical measures was implemented in 1996 to ensure sustainable exploitation of stocks in the area. For saithe it aims at harvesting, on average, 33% of the stock in numbers. This level of fishing is considered by ICES to be inconsistent with the Precautionary Approach. Therefore at present there is no explicit management plan for this stock. The Faroese Plateau and Bank fishery (demersal otter trawl,longline, jig) was certified as a sustainable fishery by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in June 2013.
Most coley from the Faroes is caught using bentho-pelagic pair trawls. Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRDs) are mandatory in the pair trawl fishery to reduce bycatch and discards. Coley is also taken in mixed demersal fisheries which include cod and haddock. Fishing is prohibited in areas where small fish exceed 30% of the catch. Trawlers are generally not allowed to fish within 12nm of the coast. Large pair trawlers account for about 93% of the coley catch, with 2% taken by single trawlers and 5% by jiggers and other fleets. The minimum landing size for coley in Faroese waters is 45cm, however, the approximate size at which 50% of females first spawn is around 50cm, so it seems likely that some fish will be taken before they have had a chance to reproduce.
Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below . Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.
ICES Advice 2016, Book 4 http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2016/2016/sai-faro.pdf
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