Hake

Maori name: kehe
Scientific name: Merluccius australis
Availability: May to September
Weight: 2–9kg, up to 14kg
Length: 70–100cm

 

Hake

Maori name: kehe
Scientific name: Merluccius australis
Availability: May to September
Weight: 2–9kg, up to 14kg
Length: 70–100cm
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General

 

Location

Most hakes are identified by their geographic origin. The New Zealand Hake is found around the South Island, Chatham Rise, and Campbell Plateau at depths between 200 and 800 metres.

Attributes

Dark silver-grey body above shading to white below. The body is slender and round with a wide head, large eyes, and large mouth with teeth turned inwards. The second dorsal and anal fins are long and often damaged during trawl capture. The tail is square.

Family

This species of hake of the Merlucciidae family (hakes) is restricted to New Zealand, but there are more than a dozen hake and whiting species that inhabit temperate and cold waters in the northern and southern hemispheres.

Spawning

Hake have a maximum age of at least 25 years and reach sexual maturity between six and ten years. The main spawning areas are the west coast of the South Island (June to October), the Campbell Plateau (September to February), and west of the Chathams (September to January).

Sustainability

In 2004 New Zealand Hake gained Marine Stewardship Council certification – the global gold standard for sustainability. Hake was introduced into the Quota Management System in 1986. There are three hake stocks recognised, with spawning areas off the west coast of the South Island, on the Chatham Rise, and on the Campbell Plateau respectively. Abundance of the sub-Antarctic stock is assessed as having experienced a significant increase in the mid-1980s followed by a subsequent decrease; stock levels have levelled off in recent years above the target abundance level. All hake stocks are currently assessed to be above or well above their management targets and overfishing is very unlikely to be occurring in any area.

Fishing methods

Hake are caught mainly by trawling.

Nutrition

Hake is a good source

To quality for a 'good source' claim the food must contain at least 25% of the RDI.
The Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) is considered to be the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98 per cent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is necessary for normal neurological function and it contributes to blood formation, energy metabolism and to the growth and development in children

; and a source

To quality for a 'source' claim the food must contain at least 10% of the RDI.
The Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) is considered to be the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98 per cent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

of Selenium

Selenium is necessary for normal immune system function and for the production of thyroid hormones and it contributes to the maintenance of hair and nails

, Iodine

Iodine is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones, for normal neurological function and for normal energy metabolism, and it contributes to the growth and development in children

, Phosphorus

Phosphorus is necessary for normal teeth, bone and cell membrane structure and for energy metabolism

, Potassium

Potassium is necessary for water and electrolyte balance, it contributes to the functioning of the nervous system and normal muscle function; and to the normal growth and development of children

and Niacin (vitamin B3)

Niacin (vitamin B3) is necessary for the release of energy from food and for the normal structure and function of skin and mucous membranes, and contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue

.

Seafood is a highly nutritious food and is a great source of protein

Protein is necessary for tissue building and repair, normal growth and development of bone in children and adolescents aged 4 years and over, and contributes to growth and maintenance of muscle mass

. Many species are low in saturated fat and a number of them are a good source of Omega 3

Omega 3 is a group of fatty acids that contribute to heart health

.

Tips

Hake flesh is moist and white with few bones and a soft, delicate texture. Marinate; poach; bake; curry; or use in a casserole; soup/chowder.

Buying & Storage Tips

When buying whole hake, always check the...
EYES: Bright and clear cornea, shiny black pupil
GILLS: Rosy pink pastel coloured gills
SKIN: Bright, silver with a luminous sheen
When buying hake fillets, always check the...
FLESH: semi-transparent and glossy
If the fish looks sticky or mushy then it is not fresh.