The Scottish haddock fleet has long had an excellent reputation for sustainability, and this fishery has been certified since 2010. The fishery is carried out by vessels covered by membership of the Scottish Fisheries Sustainability Assessment Group (SFSAG) which consists of all the Scottish Producer Organisations, as well as several fishermen associations. The members represent the majority of the Scottish demersal industry operating in the mixed demersal fisheries of the North Sea and West of Scotland.
415 vessels target the bottom-feeding fish, which are found at depths of 40 to 200m mostly in the northern and central areas of the North Sea, but can range as far south as the Humber Estuary. Boats use demersal trawls and seines, either singly or in pairs, with pair seine gear being lighter than the equivalent trawl gear and generally reducing fuel costs.
20 of the boats have trialled CCTV to help with monitoring catches, and the whole fleet has improved its gear to reduce bycatches of cod and spur dog. All nets are governed by the same mesh regulations, which require 120mm mesh cod-ends.
Haddock is the most important demersal whitefish species to Scottish fishermen. Over 27,000 tonnes of haddock were landed into Scotland by Scottish vessels in 2015 worth £41 million.
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