Fish and other aquatic creatures

Haddock - a description of the fish and its culinary value


Haddock is a valuable marine commercial fish that lives in the basin of the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic.

Industrial catch of haddock takes place all year round. About half a million tons of haddock are caught annually off the coast of Nova Scotia, Lofoten and Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and New England, in the Norwegian, Northern and Barents Seas.

In Europe, haddock is called:

  • Norwegians: Hyse (kolje),
  • French: Iglefin,
  • Germans: Schellfish,
  • British: Haddock,

Haddock is a rather large fish up to 75 cm long and weighing up to 4 kg, the fish lives about 10-14 years. Haddock has a dark gray back, with a lilac tint, a milky-colored belly, a dark horizontal line along the lower back, and dark spots on both sides of the head. Haddock has a white, lean meat, with a delicate delicacy.

Haddock meat contains the following nutrients:

  • proteins,
  • saturated fats
  • monounsaturated fats,
  • polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 and omega-6, cholesterol,
  • vitamins: A, D, E, PP, B12, thiamine, riboflavin, nicotinic acid, folic acid,
  • minerals: calcium, phosphorus, cobalt, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, chromium, fluorine, selenium.

Interesting! Haddock differs from other species of the cod family in its lower calorie content and significant iodine content.

Beneficial features

  • Haddock meat has dietary properties and is therefore recommended for inclusion in the diet menu for weight loss.
  • Amino acids that make up fish, activate mental processes, reduce the amount of cholesterol in the body.
  • Fish protein is easier to digest and more quickly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract than protein obtained from animal meat.
  • Selenium, contained in haddock and compensating for the daily need of this element, plays a significant role in the carbohydrate-fat metabolism that occurs in the human body. To do this, eat 200 g of this fish.
  • Iodine, which is saturated with marine fish, necessary for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland.
  • And phosphorus, obtained from eating dishes from haddock, improves efficiency, has a positive effect on the nervous system.
  • Haddock dishes are recommended for children and adults of all ages.

Contraindications to the use of haddock is individual intolerance to fish.

How to cook

  1. Gentle haddock fillet is suitable for cooking it on the grill or in the oven, it is also used as a component of fish salads and pates.
  2. Haddock is made into dumplings, meatballs, meatballs and cutlets, casseroles, souffles, and fillets are ground into minced fish, from which stuffing is prepared for pies, cakes or rolls.
  3. Haddock liver is used to make canned fish.
  4. Boiled or steamed haddock harmonizes perfectly with vegetables, eggs, cheese, dairy products and savory and spicy sauces.
  5. Crisp and beautiful crust differs haddock fried in breadcrumbs.
  6. It makes delicious soups and ears, solyanka and pilaf, stuffed fish.
  7. Especially haddock dishes are popular in Northern Europe, Canada and Alaska, where it is fried like steaks with the addition of spices, sour fruits and berries or cooked fish pudding.
  8. To preserve all the useful substances, haddock can be fried without adding oil in a ceramic pan, simmer or bake in foil.
  9. Haddock fillets are used to make fish stews, fish plates, battered fish sticks, and minced meat to make fish sausages and medallions.

Haddock Description

Haddock - fish smaller than cod. The average length of her body is from 38 to 69 centimeters. The maximum size of the caught fish was 1 meter 10 centimeters. The average body weight of mature fish ranges from 0.9 to 1.8 kilograms, depending on gender, age and habitat.

The lower jaw of haddock is much shorter than the top, and it lacks palatine teeth. This representative of the species has 3 dorsal fins and 2 anal ones. All fins are clearly separated from each other. The first base of the anal fin is short, less than half the distance of the deadal. Haddock fish color is whitish.


Haddock is often compared to cod. Haddock fish has a small mouth, a pointed muzzle, a slender body and a concave tail. It belongs to the type of carnivores, feeding mainly on fish and invertebrates. Haddock is similar to cod with two anal fins, one chin and three dorsal. The first dorsal fin hasdock is much higher than that of cod. Her body is covered with dark spots, along the sides there are light lines. The edge of the haddock tail is more concave than that of cod, its second and third dorsal fins are more angular.

It is interesting! Haddock has a purple-gray head and back, silver-gray sides with a distinct black sideline. The belly is white. Haddock is easily recognized among other fish by its black spot above the pectoral fin (also known as the "fingerprint of the devil's finger"). Dark spots can be seen on both sides of the body. Haddock and cod are similar in appearance.

Haddock has a smaller mouth, a more pointed face, a slender body and a concave tail. The bottom profile of the haddock muzzle is straight, slightly rounded, the mouth is smaller than that of cod. The nose is wedge shaped. The body is flattened laterally, the upper jaw protrudes above the lower.

The surface is covered with small scales and a thick layer of mucus. The upper part of her head, back and sides down to the sideline have a dark purple-gray tint. The belly, lower sides and heads are white. The dorsal, pectoral, and caudal fins are dark gray, the anal fins are pale, the lower part of the sides has black specks at the base, the ventral white with black dotted lines.

Lifestyle, behavior

Haddock occupies rather deep layers of the water column, being located below cod breeding sites. She rarely comes to shallow water. Haddock is a cold-water fish, although it does not like excessively low temperatures. Thus, it is almost completely absent in Newfoundland, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and in the area of ​​New Scotland at a time when the water temperature in these places is at a critically low point.

Haddock fish is usually found at depths of 40 to 133 meters, moving away from the coast at a distance of approximately 300 meters. Adults prefer deeper waters, while young animals prefer to be closer to the surface. Most of all this fish like at a temperature of from 2 to 10 degrees Celsius. In general, haddock lives in cooler and less salty waters on the American side of the Atlantic.

How much hasdock lives

The young haddock lives in shallow water near the coast until they are large enough and strong enough to survive in deeper waters. Haddock reaches sexual maturity at the age of 1 to 4 years. Males mature earlier than females.

It is interesting! Haddock can survive more than 10 years in the wild. This is a fairly long-lived fish, and the average life expectancy is about 14 years.


Haddock inhabits both sides of the North Atlantic. On the American coast, its distribution is most numerous. The range extends from the eastern shores of New Scotland to Cape Cod. In winter, the fish migrate south to New York and New Jersey, and they have also been sighted at depths south of the latitude of Cape Hatteras. In the southern side, small haddock catches are made along the Gulf of St. Lawrence, also along its Northern shore at the mouth of the St. Lawrence. Haddock is not in the icy water along the outer coast of Labrador, where there are annual generous catches of cod every summer.

Haddock ration

Haddock fish feeds mainly on small invertebrates.. Although larger members of this species can sometimes consume other fish. During the first few months of life on the pelagic surface, haddock fry feed on plankton floating in the water column. After they grow up, they somewhat deepen and become real predators, abundantly devouring all types of invertebrates.

A full list of animals that haddock eats will undoubtedly include almost all species inhabiting the area on which this fish lived. The menu includes medium and large crustaceans. Such as crabs, shrimps, and amphipods, bivalves in a wide variety, worms, starfish, sea urchins, brittle stars and sea cucumbers. Haddock can hunt squid. When the opportunity arises, this fish hunts herring, for example in Norwegian waters. In the vicinity of Cape Breton Haddock eats young eels.

Reproduction and offspring

Haddock fish reaches maturity at the age of 4 years. Basically, this figure concerns the maturing of males; females, as a rule, need a little more time. The male population of haddock prefers to inhabit the depths of the sea, while females peacefully settle down in shallow water. Spawning usually occurs in sea waters from a depth of 50 to 150 meters, between January and June, reaching a peak in late March and early April.

It is interesting! The most important spawning grounds are located in the waters of central Norway, near the southwestern part of Iceland and the Bank of Georges. Usually the female lays about 850,000 eggs per spawning.

Larger representatives of the species are capable of producing up to three million eggs in one year. Fertilized roe swims in the water, transported by the ocean current, until the newborn fish are born. Newly hatched fry spend the first few months of their lives near the surface of the water.

After that, they move to the bottom of the ocean, where they spend the rest of their lives. Haddock mating season occurs in shallow water throughout the spring. Spawning lasts from January to June and reaches its peak from March to April.

Natural enemies

Haddock swims in large groups. It can be described as a "sprinter", as it moves extremely quickly in case it is necessary to hide sharply from predators. True, haddock swims only over short distances. Despite such good maneuverability, haddock enemies still exist, it is a prickly catfish, ramp, cod, halibut, sea crow and seals.

Population and species status

Haddock is a marine fish that belongs to the cod family.. It can be found on both sides of the North Atlantic. This fish is a bottom creature that lives on the seabed. It belongs to the group of commercially important fish, as it has been firmly included in the human diet for centuries. High demand for it led to an uncontrolled catch of haddock in the last century and a sharp decline in the population.

Thanks to conservation efforts and strict fishing regulations, the haddock population has recovered over the past couple of years, but it is still vulnerable. According to the estimates of the 2017 Georgia Haddock Association, this species of fish is not over-caught.

Commercial value

Haddock is a very important type of fish. It is of great economic importance. It is also one of the most popular fish in Britain. Commercial catch in North America in recent years has declined significantly, but at the moment has begun to gain the same momentum. Haddock is mainly used for nutrition. This is a very popular food fish that is sold fresh, frozen, smoked, dried or canned. Initially, haddock was less in demand than cod, due to fewer useful properties. However, the expansion of the fish trade has led to the adoption of this product by the consumer.

The development of technical progress played a major role in the advancement, namely, the appearance of filleting and packing fresh and frozen haddock. This has done its job, both for demand and for increasing catch volumes. As for catching haddock - in this matter the natural bait is most effective.. As an alluring treat, you can use shellfish and shrimp. An alternative can be cut pieces of herring, squid, merlan, sand eels or mackerel. Artificial baits, such as teasers and jigs, tend to work, but are much less effective.

It is interesting! These fish are usually caught in bulk. Since they are on the smaller side, schooling and in the depths that require the use of strong gear, they are an easy task for fishing. The only difficulty is to try not to tear their delicate mouths off the hook.

The fact that haddock prefers deeper water layers suggests that it is a selective inhabitant (of course, compared to cod). Due to a deeper habitat, haddock is most often caught by anglers in boats.

In order to improve your chances of meeting this wonderful fish, you need to go to a depth in areas located in the north-east of England and in the north and west of Scotland. However, other species such as cod or whiting can be found in these places more often. This means that anglers may have to put a lot of these types of fish in the basket before the coveted haddock falls on the hook.