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Haddock

Melanogrammus aeglefinus

Method of production - Caught at sea
Capture method - Gill or fixed net
Capture area - North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area - North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat
Stock detail - IV and IIIa
Accreditation - Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Fish type - White round fish

Sustainability rating Click for explaination of rating

This fish, caught by the methods and in the area listed above, is a good sustainable fish to eat. Click on the rating icon above to read more and on the alternatives tab below to find similar fish to eat.


Sustainability overview

The haddock stock in these areas is currently in a healthy state and harvested sustainably. However, haddock is caught in mixed fisheries with cod which are severely depleted in these areas. To help reduce the impact of fishing on fish stocks which are depleted or being heavily fished, choose line-caught fish where available or if trawl-caught ask for fish from boats using measures, such as eliminator trawls, to protect depleted stocks and reduce bycatch and discarding. There is a seine and trawl fishery (Scottish Fisheries Sustainable Accreditation Group (SFSAG) for haddock in the North Sea certified as an environmentally responsible fishery by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in October 2010. Certified and therefore fully traceable haddock is the best choice for this fishery.

Biology

Haddock is a cold-temperate (boreal) species. It is a migratory fish, found in inshore shallow waters in summer and in deep water in winter. Smaller than cod, it can attain a length of 70-100cm and can live for more than 20 years. It spawns between February and June, but mostly in March and April. In the North Sea, haddock become sexually mature at an age of 3-4 years and a length of 30-40cm. Maturity occurs later and at greater lengths in more northern areas of its range.

Stock information

Stock area
North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat

View map areas

Stock information
The stock is classified as 'having full reproductive capacity' or as healthy and above the precautionary level recommended by ICES, and is being harvested sustainably. The biomass has been declining in recent years, following low levels of recruitment, and it is thought that at current fishing mortality this decrease will continue. However, the change will be small and biomass will remain above the precautionary level. There is an EU (and Norwegian) management plan for this species, with an agreement in place to keep SSB above Blim (100,000t). North Sea haddock exhibits sporadically high recruitment leading to dominant year classes in the fishery, the last of which was the strong 1999 year class. Apart from 2005 and 2009 year classes, which are above average, recent recruitment has been poor. ICES advises that the TAC (human consumption landings) in 2014 should be no more than 40,639 t ( 47,811t in 2013).

Management

Capture information

Gillnetting produces less bycatch and fewer discards than trawls. Since haddock is mostly taken in mixed fisheries with cod and whiting, ICES scientists have advised that fishing for haddock should take place without bycatch or discards of cod. The minimum landing size for haddock in EU waters is 30cm (27cm in Skaggerak/Kattegat).

Read more about capture methods

Alternatives

Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below . Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.

Alaska pollock, Walleye pollock Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Bass, seabass Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Black bream or porgy or seabream

Bream, gilthead Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Cod, Atlantic Cod Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Coley, Saithe Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Haddock Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Hake, Cape

Japanese amberjack, Yellowtail or Seriola

Meagre

Pouting or Bib

Sturgeon Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Tilapia

Whiting Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.


References
ICES Advice 2013, Book 6

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