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Pollack or Lythe

Pollachius pollachius

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
Certification -
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 not a good choice of sustainable fish to eat and should be only eaten very occasionally. Click on the rating icon above to read more and on the alternatives tab below to find more sustainable fish to eat.


Sustainability overview

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).

Biology

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.

Stock information

Stock area
North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat

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Stock information
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

Management

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.

Capture information

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.

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.

Alfonsino

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 (Farmed) 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 (Farmed) 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

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

Japanese amberjack, Yellowtail or Seriola

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

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

Sturgeon (Farmed) 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 2016, Book 6 http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2016/2016/pol-nsea.pdf

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