Saithe has a more characteristic taste than most white fish species. Its distinctive flavour goes well with spicy dishes. Saithe meat also has a firm texture and is well suited to frying.


Along the Norwegian coast from Stad to the Kola Peninsula.

Maximum size

Up to 1.3 metres and 20 kilos.

Some alternative names

Latin: Pollachius virens

English: Saithe/Coalfish

French: Lieu noir

German: Köhler/Seelachs

Nutritional value in 100 g raw saithe (edible part)

Energy: 292 kJ or 69 kcal



Protein: 16.5 g

Fat: 0.3 g

Saturated fatty acids: 0 g

Trans fatty acids: 0 g

Monounsaturated fatty acids: 0,1 g

Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 0.1 g

Cholesterol: 49 mg


Carbohydrates, in total: 0 g


Vitamin A: 2 RAE

Vitamin D: 0.8 µg

Riboflavin: 0.20 mg

Foliate: 12 µg

Vitamin B12: 4 µg


Iron: 0.1 mg

Selenium: 30 µg

Saithe is a codfish that can be found both near the surface and on the seabed down to a depth of 300 metres. It is a shoaling fish that may gather in large numbers where there is plenty of food. Saithe stocks in Norwegian waters are split into two – one north of 62 °N, and one south of this point.

Northeast Arctic Saithe becomes sexually mature at the age of 5-6 years and spawns in winter along the Norwegian coast, from Lofoten to the North Sea. The spawning period peaks in February, after which the young drift passively northwards with the currents. Small saithe appear in southern and western Norway in spring, and by the coast of Finnmark as late as August. They migrate a long way from the areas where they feed and grow, and can live up to 30 years.

Wild catch

The fishing of saithe takes place all year round along the Norwegian coast. Common equipment is bottom trawl, purse seine, gill net, Danish seine and hand line.


Sold fresh as fillets or whole fish, or frozen as fillets and clipfish/dried fish.


Copepods, krill and other pelagic crustaceans; herring, sprat, blue whiting, juvenile haddock and Norway pout.


Saithe is especially rich in:

  • Protein that builds and maintains every cell in the body.
  • Vitamin D, necessary to balance calcium in the body, which maintains and strengthens the bones.
  • Vitamin B12, which is important for the body in producing new cells, including red blood cells. Vitamin B12 can help to prevent anaemia.
  • Selenium, an important element in an enzyme that fights harmful chemical processes in the body.

More nutritional data can be found at