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European hake

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General

Cod-like fish

Cod-like fishes belong to the Gadidae family. This includes the Atlantic and Pacific cod, pouting, haddock, whiting, European pollock, Alaska pollock and saithe. They live near the seabed in coastal waters and in deeper waters. During the day, they aggregate in schools. At night, they separate to forage independently. Gadidae are omnivorous fish that feed on worms, molluscs, bivalves, crustaceans and small fish. They migrate over large distances to spawn and to hunt on large schools of herring and smelt.

 

 

European hake

The European hake is a relatively large hake. It can grow up tot 140 cm and weigh up to 15 kilograms. This species lives at depths between 30 to 400 metres. There are two European hake stocks, the northern and the southern stock. The southern stock can be found along the coasts of Portugal and Spain and the northern stock is found in the North Sea.

 

European hake

Merluccius merluccius
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)
Deelgebieden: Skagerrak and Kattegat

Farming- / Catch method

Scottish seining, Danish seine, Bottom otter trawl, Trammel nets, Set longlines, Gillnets

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Explanation assessment

The northern stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
of European hake has been heavily overfishedOverfished:
A stock is overfished when the stock size has decreased so far that it can no longer produce a maximum sustainable yield. The size of the fish populations is insufficient to reproduce in the long term. 
in the past but is reacting well to the recovery plan. Since this plan has been implemented in 2004, the stock has grown, and the fishing pressureFishing pressure:
Fishing pressure is a result of the fishing effort/amount of fishing on a stock, which determines the fishing mortality. Fishing mortality is the share of the fish stock that dies annually as a result of fishing.
has heavily decreased. The stock peaked in 2013 and is amply within safe biological limits. Several fisheries on hake are MSC-certifiedMSC Certified:
Fisheries that comply with the Marine Stewardship Council assessment criteria and are certified. Fish products with the blue MSC label are caught by sustainable fisheries.
. These fisheries use demersalDemersal otter trawls:
A technique in which conical nets are dragged over the ground and are held open by large, square 'otter planks'. The planks also work as a plough, in which fish are hunted into the nets.
otter trawls, DanishDanish seines:
A fishing technique whereby one of the lines of the seine net/pit net is anchored. The ship expands the net with a moving motion and turns off when picking up the net.
seines, ScottishScottish seines:
A fishing technique whereby a net with a long line (the seagulls) is pulled through the water on both sides. The ship is slowly steaming forward when getting in. Also called flyshooting
seines, longlinesLonglines (drifting):
A fishing method whereby a long main line (40-100 km long) with transverse lines with hooks with bait is expanded. The line floats on buoys in the water column. 
, gillnetsGillnets:
A fishing technique whereby passing fish get caught in the meshes with their gills. The net stands vertically on the bottom or hangs on buoys in the water column. The by-catch of species such as porpoises and dolphins is a problem related to gillnets.
and trammelTrammel:
A trammel consists of three interconnected nets standing upright in the water. The outer net has a wide mesh and the inner nets have thin nets. 
nets.

Fish in season 

Fish is in season when the spawning period has ended, as the quality is then at its best.

European hake

Merluccius merluccius
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Demersal otter trawl, Set longlines, Gillnets

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  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The northern stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
of European hake is amply within safe biological limits.

Fishing hake with gillnetsGillnets:
A fishing technique whereby passing fish get caught in the meshes with their gills. The net stands vertically on the bottom or hangs on buoys in the water column. The by-catch of species such as porpoises and dolphins is a problem related to gillnets.
is generally quite a selective fishing method. However, the bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
of rays and sharks form a problem in this fishery. Precise bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
and discardsDiscards:
Unwanted by-catch, which is thrown back because there is no quota, the market price is too low, or the fish is below the legal minimum landing size. Discards can be alive or dead.
data are not available for this fishery. Fishing with longlineLongline:
Also known as line fishing. A fishing method in which lines and hooks are used.
s often causes significant damage to protected and threatened species. This fishing method also has a negative impact on the ecosystem. DemersalDemersal otter trawls:
A technique in which conical nets are dragged over the ground and are held open by large, square 'otter planks'. The planks also work as a plough, in which fish are hunted into the nets.
otter trawls not only has a negative impact on species other than hake, it is also has a negative impact on the sea bottom. This fishing method has a large impact on the ecosystem.

The fishery management on hake is partially effective. Since a management plan has been implemented in 2004 the stock has grown, and the fishing pressure has heavily decreased. A long-term managementManagement plan:
A management plan describes the management measures (such as catch limits) and their evaluation for one or more fisheries.
plan is now in preparation.

Fish in season 

Fish is in season when the spawning period has ended, as the quality is then at its best.

 

European hake

Merluccius merluccius
Origin

Mediterranean (FAO 37)

Farming- / Catch method

Bottom otter trawl, Set longlines, Gillnets

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

Hake has been heavily overfishedOverfished:
A stock is overfished when the stock size has decreased so far that it can no longer produce a maximum sustainable yield. The size of the fish populations is insufficient to reproduce in the long term. 
in the last century. Since 1998 the stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
has been increasing and is now above the historical mean. Despite the implementation of a recovery plan in 2005, and a decrease in catches and fishing pressure, the stock is still being overfished in this area.

Fishing on hake with demersalDemersal otter trawls:
A technique in which conical nets are dragged over the ground and are held open by large, square 'otter planks'. The planks also work as a plough, in which fish are hunted into the nets.
otter trawls, longlineLongline:
Also known as line fishing. A fishing method in which lines and hooks are used.
s and gillnetsGillnets:
A fishing technique whereby passing fish get caught in the meshes with their gills. The net stands vertically on the bottom or hangs on buoys in the water column. The by-catch of species such as porpoises and dolphins is a problem related to gillnets.
all have negative impacts on protected and threatened species, such as seabirds and sea turtles. Demersal otter trawls even have a very high amount of discardsDiscards:
Unwanted by-catch, which is thrown back because there is no quota, the market price is too low, or the fish is below the legal minimum landing size. Discards can be alive or dead.
.

The 2005 recovery plan introduced various measures, including closedClosed areas:
The closure of fishing areas for fishing, for example based on gear or season.  
areas, a limitation of the fishing effort and catch reductions. Unfortunately, these measures have failed to reduce catches and fish mortalityFishing mortality:
The share of the fish stock that dies annually by fishing. This is the size to which fishing pressure is examined.  
. Hake is being structurally overfished and the bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
of hake in other fisheries is not even included in the managementManagement plan:
A management plan describes the management measures (such as catch limits) and their evaluation for one or more fisheries.
plan.

Fish in season 

Fish is in season when the spawning period has ended, as the quality is then at its best.

 

ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.

Avoid

Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.

By-catch

This fish is unwillingly caught while fishing for a different species. They are underused and should be eaten more.

GlobalG.A.P.

GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.

Organic

Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.

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