The European Shag mostly keeps to the shore and is seldom seen far from land. It breeds and lives in the Northeast Atlantic and the Mediterranean. In Iceland it mostly keeps to the West coast, in Faxaflói and Breiðafjörður. Its nest is in sea cliffs, islands and bird colonies and it lays one to six eggs. The European Shag is a good diver and mostly lives on small fish.
The estimated breeding population in Iceland is 4,900 pairs.