Haddock

Melanogrammus aeglefinus

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Longline
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Northeast Arctic
Stock detail — I & II
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Picture of Haddock

Sustainability rating one info

Sustainability overview

ICES scientists classify this stock as having full reproductive capacity or as healthy and fishing mortality is at a sustainable level. 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).

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

Northeast Arctic

Stock information

The spawning-stock biomass (SSB) has been above MSY Btrigger since 1989. The exceptionally strong year classes of 2004-2006 have contributed to the strong increase in all-time high levels of SSB seen in later years; however, the SSB in 2017 is declining. Fishing mortality has been below FMSY since 2008. Recruitment at age 3 in 2016 was slightly below average. ICES advises that when the Joint Russian-Norwegian Fisheries Commission management plan is applied, catches in 2018 should be no more than 202 305 tonnes (233 000 tonnes in 2017).

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

Haddock is mainly fished by trawl (70%) and is taken both in directed fisheries and as bycatch in the fishery for cod. There is a potential for damage to the seabed by trawling. Trawling is also associated with discarding of unwanted fish, i.e. undersized and/or non-quota and/or over-quota species. In addition to quotas, the fishery is also regulated by other measures, such as maximum bycatch of undersized and non-target species, and closure of areas with a high density of juveniles. Sorting grids have been mandatory in most of the Barents Sea and the Svalbard area since 1999, ensuring a more selective catch.

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.

Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler
Bass, seabass (Farmed)
Bream, Gilthead (Farmed)
Cod, Atlantic Cod
Coley, Saithe
Haddock
Hake, Cape
Hake, European
Japanese amberjack, Yellowtail or Seriola
Pollack or Lythe
Pollock, Alaska, Walleye
Pouting or Bib
Sturgeon (Farmed)
Tilapia
Whiting

References

ICES Advice 2017, Book 3 http://ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2017/2017/had.27.1-2.pdf