Certifier : 
Lloyds Register (Acoura)
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
11 Jun 2015
Certificate expires : 
09 Dec 2025


European hake are found along the continental shelf and the shelf slope in the north-eastern Atlantic. Their distribution stretches from northern Norway and Iceland south to Mauritania and they normally live at depths of 100-300m.

Cornish fishers manage a fleet of 15 boats ranging in size from 12m to nearly 23m long. They catch hake from the Celtic Sea to the west of the UK mainland and the south of Ireland. Together they land just under 1,000 tonnes of European hake per year into Newlyn, Cornwall.

Hake has been a popular species for many years. However, by the late 1990s Cornish hake stocks had become slightly depleted.

Cornish fishers cut back on catching hake, and set up a new management plan in 2001. Since then, hake stocks have recovered to nearly double their low point.

One of the fishery's key strengths is the use of gillnets with a larger mesh size than the legal requirement. These nets only target the larger hake and allow the smaller juveniles to swim free, leaving more fish to reproduce.

“We are proud of how the industry has responded to the challenge of working with scientists to better understand the state of fish stocks and where action has been needed to improve stocks it has been taken. What better way to demonstrate that than going through MSC assessment.” 

Paul Trebilcock, CEO, Cornish Fish Producers Organisation

Cornwall caught European hake on ice image © Clive Streeter / MSC