Profile updated on 17 March 2023
The saithe (Pollachius virens) is a demersal fish widely distributed in both sides of the North Atlantic. The stock structure is not totally clear, migrations are detected among the areas according to tagging experiments (Jakobsen and Olsen, 1987; Jákupsstovu, 1999 in ICES, 2014b). Magnitude of migrations seem to differ among the areas studied due to the topography or distance and further studies are recommended (Homrum et al., 2013). Seascape genetic approaches provided statistical evidence of four significant genetic clusters of saithe across the North Atlantic: Canada, Rockall, Barents Sea, and the Central North Eastern Atlantic (Iceland, the Faroe Island, West of Scotland, North Sea, Viking Bank, Tampen, and Halten Bank) (Saha et al. 2015). However, so far, four assessment units are considered within the NE Atlantic region for evaluation of the stock condition as well as for management purposes: Barents Sea (Subareas 1 and 2, Northeast Arctic), Icelandic (Division 5a), North Sea, Skagerrak, west of Scotland and the Rockall (Divisions 3a, 4 and Subarea 6) and Faroe Islands (Division 5b).