Hake fish

Merluccius merluccius

Hake fish comes from the same family (Phycidae) as cod and haddock. It is a small fish of averaging 1 to 8 lb in weight, but which has been known to grow up to 60 lbs. Hake can grow up to 1 metre in length and their lifespan can be around 14 years. They live in waters ranging in depth from 200 to 350 m. Hake species stay in deep sea water during the day and come to the middle depths during the night. They are undiscerning predators which feed on species found near or on the bottom of the sea. The male and female hake fish look almost the same and are not easily differentiated.

After spawning, the hake eggs float on the surface of the sea where the larvae develop. After a certain period of time, the baby hake then migrate to the bottom of the sea, preferring depths of less than 200 m.

The demand for hake has been conventionally the most in Europe. Hake has been primarily divided into three principal levels which are fresh hake fish, frozen hake fish and frozen hake fillet. The fresh hake fish is mainly supplied by European production and imports. Frozen hake fish and frozen hake fillet are effectively supplied by imports and European processing companies.