Recruitment in the fishery is weak. The spawning stock biomass has decreased strongly and the stock is now assessed as having reduced reproductive capacity. Fishing pressure is however low and the stock is being harvested sustainably.
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 70-100cms 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.
The haddock stock at Rockall is an entirely separate stock from that on the continental shelf of the British Isles. Haddock there have lower growth rates and reach a lower maximum size than other haddock populations in the Atlantic. Spawning stock biomass is assessed as being below MSY and as having reduced reproductive capacity. It increased up to 2008 as a result of recent good year classes but has decreased constantly since then. Fishing mortality is below target and the stock is being harvested sustainably. A management plan is under development and is currently being evaluated. Recruitment during 2007–2012 has been extremely low despite a moderate SSB. This may be related to rising seawater temperature on the Rockall bank. At the same time there was a significant reduction of Calanus finmarchicus which is the main food item for larval and juvenile haddock at Rockall. This situation of food scarcity could have resulted in increased predation and food competition by grey gurnard. ICES state all these factors may have led to a reduction in the recruitment of Rockall haddock. ICES advises on the basis of the MSY approach that catches should be no more than 1620 t in 2014. If discard rates (at age) do not change from the average of the last seven years (2006–2012), this implies landings of no more than 980 t. ICES also advises further management measures should be introduced to reduce catches of small haddock and to protect the younger fish joining the fishery in 2013. ICES Advice 2013, Book 5
ICES Advice 2013, Book 5
Rockall haddock is taken in directed fisheries and as bycatch in demersal and gillnet fisheries. There is potential for damage to seabed by trawling. Trawling is also associated with discarding of unwanted fish i.e. undersized and/or non-quota and/or over-quota species. ICES advises further management measures should be introduced to reduce discarding of small haddock. In recent years (2010) discards were significantly reduced as a result of the small number of young haddock in the population. In order to protect cold water corals a number of areas have been closed since 2007. The minimum landing size for haddock in EU waters is 30cm (27cm in Skaggerak/Kattegat).
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.
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