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Haddock

Melanogrammus aeglefinus

Method of production - Caught at sea
Capture method - Gill net,Fixed net
Capture area - North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area - North Sea, Skagerrak and West of Scotland
Stock detail - IV, IIIa and VIa
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

Fishing pressure on the haddock stock in these areas is too high and the biomass below precautionary levels and at increased risk of impaired recruitment. To help reduce the impact of fishing on fish stocks which are 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 them 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 70-100 cm 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 30-40 cm. 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

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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 2016 fishing pressure (F) is too high and the stock harvested unsustainably. Spawning-stock biomass (SSB) has fallen below MSY Btrigger. Recruitment since 2000 has been characterized by a low average level with occasional larger year classes, the size of which is diminishing. The 2014 recruitment estimate is higher than recent poor recruitment years, but is still below the long-term average.
ICES advises that when the MSY approach is applied, catches in 2017 should be no more than 39 461 tonnes (74,854t in 2016; 54,580t in 2015).

Management

The fishery is managed under a plan administered by the Joint Russian Norwegian Fisheries Commission to ensure a high and sustainable yield from the stock. The Norway NE Arctic offshore haddock fisheries and the demersal trawl fishery for haddock within the Norwegian and Russian EEZ and in international waters of the Barents Sea have been certified as environmentally responsible fisheries by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in April and November 2010 respectively.

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.

Bass, seabass (Farmed)

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/had-346a.pdf

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