A predatory fish with white tasty flesh that is prized by the Spanish. Hake makes a great alternative to cod, is great battered and in Spain is traditionally cut into steaks and baked.
Since the introduction of a hake recovery plan in the late 1990’s, fishing effort on hake was strictly controlled and now stocks are far larger than they have been for years and fishing effort accoss northern Europe is now at safe levels. The majority of hake landed to Cornish ports is caught using gill nets. All vessels over 12m long are now using pingers that scare dolphins and other cetaceans away from the nets. The Cornish hake gill net fishery was certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council in 2015.
Updated July 2019
MSC certified fishery. Gill nets are lightweight nets made of nylon (monofilament) fishing line that are anchored to the seabed and are used to catch fish by entangling the gills.Learn more
Cornish vessels landing to Cornish ports
Demersal trawls are large nets that are pulled through the water with the bottom edge of the net touching the seabed. At each edge the net is pulled open by metal ‘trawl doors’. Sometimes referred to as Otter trawling.Learn more
Cornwall Good Seafood Guide rates fish on sustainability using a scale of 1 to 5.
1, 2 and 3 are recommended, Fish to avoid are rated 5.
We use the system devised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) so our scores are comparable with the scores produced by MCS for the UK and fisheries from all around the world. For more information on scoring click here.
There was a pronounced stock decline in the 1980's, with spawning stock biomass (SSB) hitting a historical low in 2000. Following the introduction of a recovery management plan in 2004, the spawning stock biomass rapidly increased until 2017 and is now stable. Fishing mortality decreased sharply between 2004 and 2102 and since then has been stable below the Maximum sustinable yeild target. Quotas for hake have risen as a result of the health of this stock.
Hake fisheries are managed by the European Common Fisheries Policy quota system. Additionally a hake recovery plan implemented in 2004 has resulted in increased hake stocks. Cornish vessels operating outside the 12 mile limit all now are required by law to use accoustic pingers on their nets which deter dolphins and porpoises from coming near the nets. The Cornish Gill net hake fishery was certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council in 2015.
Hake are caught by demersal trawls and beam trawls but the majority of landings are by targetted gill netting fisheries. Hake net fisheries are mainly carried out in deep water outside the 6 mile limit and all netters fishing from boats over 10 meters now have to use pingers on their nets to reduce risk of cetacean by catch. The nets used have a mesh size of 4" 7/8 (124mm) and are set on the seabed. A typical hake net is 125 yards long and 32 nets are joined together to make a tier of nets. A large, offshore, modern hake netter can fish up to 6 tiers of net at a time - an astounding 21 kilometers of net. There are issues with by-catch of non target species such as sharks,rays and seals in this fishery and more research is needed to establish the level of by catch.
For a detailed description of the Cornish Hake net fishery visit Ajax hakes website here
A spicy and zesty dish to make the most of seasonal seafood.
Live oysters are mainly served raw. All you need is a knife, a bottle of good wine, and a little lemon or tobasco and away you go!