Haddock ( A Little Seafood History )

Haddock is a fish found on both sides of the North Atlantic. Haddock is a popular food and is widely fished commercially. Haddock is recognized by a black lateral line running along its white side (don’t confuse it with the pollock which has the reverse, white line on black side) and a distinctive dark spot above the pectoral fin, often described as a “thumbprint” or even the “Devil’s thumbprint”.

Haddock are mostly found at depth’s of 4o to 133 meters (131 to 436 feet), but have been known to be found as deep as 300 meters (980 feet). The haddock thrives in temperatures of 2 to 18 degrees celsius (36 to 50 degrees fahrenheit). Smaller fish prefer shallower waters while larger adults enjoy deeper water. Haddock feed primarily on small invertebrates, although larger haddock may occasionally consume fish.

Spawning occurs between January and June, peaking during late March and early April. The most important spawning grounds are in the waters off middle Norway, near southwest Iceland, and Georges Bank. An average-sized female produces approximately 850,000 eggs, and larger females are capable of producing up to 3 million eggs each year.

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