Certifier : 
MRAG Americas, Inc.
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
30 Oct 2014
Certificate expires : 
31 Oct 2019


European hake is widely distributed over the Northeast Atlantic shelf. The main nursery grounds are located in the Bay of Biscay and off southern Ireland. Adult hake live around muddy seabeds at depths of around 75-120m. Hake are considered mature at around 43cm long.

Members of the Danish Fishermen’s Producer Organization (DFPO) fish for European hake in the North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat (the straits between Jutland and Norway/Sweden).

Larger vessels use demersal or bottom otter trawls (single, twin and pair) – cone-shaped nets with a closed cod-end and extending lateral wings, which are towed along the seabed. Danish seines (long nets anchored to the seabed) are also used, as are gillnets or trammel nets. Both gill nets and trammel nets are set before dusk, generally parallel to the tide, and are usually left in the water overnight and hauled next day.

As a condition of certification, the fishery is undertaking various improvements. These include implementing new harvest controls and strategies to ensure the fishery does not pose a threat to the sustainability of other species. This includes retained species such as nephrops (Norway lobster/scampi) and anglerfish, discarded species such as common skate and spurdog, as well as marine mammals.