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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 West of Scotland
Stock detail - IV, IIIa and VIa
Accreditation -
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 and closed-circuit TV, and fully documented fisheries (FDF) 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 West of Scotland

View map areas

Stock information
The Northern Shelf haddock stock was previously assessed as two separate stocks (North Sea and Skagerrak and West of Scotland). Based on evidence that the stocks are not biologically distinct they are now being assessed as one. In 2014 the stock is classified as 'having full reproductive capacity' or as healthy and above and below levels for stock size and fishing pressure prescribed for maximum sustainable yield. 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 catches for the whole assessment area in 2015 should be no more than 54,580t.

Management

A management plan for the whole new assessment area now needs to be developed, taking into account the need to protect local components of the stock.

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.

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 2014, Book 6 http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2014/2014/had-346a.pdf

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