Good Fish Guide
Pollack or Lythe
Method of production - Caught at sea
Capture method - Demersal otter trawl
Capture area - North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area - North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat
Stock detail - IV and IIIa
Fish type - White round fish
Pollack is taken as bycatch in directed trawl fisheries for cod and saithe and by gillnet. There is insufficient information available to evaluate stock biomass and fishing mortality. For stocks without information on abundance or exploitation, ICES considers that a precautionary reduction of catches should be implemented. The most sustainable choice for this species is line-caught fish from the southwest. For information on line caught and tagged pollack from these waters, see www.linecaught.org.uk. Avoid eating immature fish (below 50cm) and during its breeding season (January to April).
Distributed throughout the northeast Atlantic, pollack is a warm, temperate species belonging to the cod family. It is mostly found close to the shore with a preference for wrecks and rocky bottom. It usually occurs at 40-100 m depth but is found down to 200 m. Growth is rapid, approaching 10 cms per year. It migrates into deeper water as it grows. Maturity occurs at approximately 3 years. It spawns between January and April. Young of the first year are particularly common close inshore and may therefore be protected from fisheries in the early life stages. Species can reach a length of 120-130 cm. A maximum size of 130 cm, a maximum weight of 18 kg and a maximum age of 15 years are reported.
North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat
For the first time in 2011 ICES analysed data for pollack in the North Sea. Landings data are insufficient to evaluate the stock in the North Sea, although information available for the Skaggerak and Kattegat indicate a substantial decline in stock size from 1950 until approximately 2000. For stocks without information on abundance or exploitation, ICES considers that a precautionary reduction of catches should be implemented and advises that catches should be no more than 1368 tonnes in each of the years 2017 and 2018. If discard rates do not change from the average of the last 3 years (2013 - 2015), this implies landings of 1345 tonnes
There is no management plan for pollack in this area. There is no EU Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the stock in this area as it is taken as bycatch only.
There are no directed fisheries for pollack in this area, it is mainly taken as bycatch in various trawl (65%) and gillnet (24%) fisheries including saithe fisheries. The majority (99% in 2014) of the commercial catch is taken from Subarea VII. Although the minimum landing size for pollack in EU waters is 30cm, typically it does not mature below 50cm. Recreational catches of this species are high but are not reported.
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.
ICES Advice 2016, Book 6 http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2016/2016/pol-nsea.pdf
Sign up to get all the latest marine related news from MCS
The UK charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife.