Maine Seafood Guide - Hake


species description | season | status | regulatory authority |
harvest method | recreational harvest | health benefits & risks | 

buying & preparing | brands | certifications | links

Species Description
Red hake Urophycis chuss
Silver hake (whiting) Merluccius bilinearis
White hake Urophycis tenuis


All hake are deep-water, East Coast fish that migrate inshore in warmer months. Red and white hake are “true” hakes while silver hake (also called whiting) is part of a different family. Red hake resemble white hake but are smaller. Silver hake or whiting is a long slender fish without a chin barbel or long feeler fin.

Year-round, peak in summer.
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Status (see the About page for definitions)
Red hake and silver hake in the Gulf of Maine are not overfished nor is overfishing occuring.

The population of white hake in the Gulf of Maine is rebuilding and overfishing is not occurring.
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Regulatory Authority
New England Fishery Management Council Northeast Multispecies (groundfish) Plan.
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Harvest Method
Otter trawl, gillnet, some hook and line.
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Recreational Harvest
Recreational harvest of hake is allowed.
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Health Benefits & Risks
Hake is lower in omega-3 fatty acids than other seafood choices. Hake is low in mercury.
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Buying & Preparing
Hake is a soft, flaky white fish with a more delicate texture than pollock or haddock. Look for fresh, local fish as red and white hake do not freeze well (they become “spongy” upon thawing).
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Companies, Brands, and Labels
Port Clyde Fresh Catch
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Certifications & Verifications
Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested (silver hake)
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NOAA FishWatch Silver Hake page
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species description | season | status | harvest method | recreational harvest
health benefits & risks | 
buying & preparing | brands certifications | links