AskDefine | Define haddock

Dictionary Definition



1 lean white flesh of fish similar to but smaller than cod; usually baked or poached or as fillets sauteed or fried
2 important food fish on both sides of the Atlantic; related to cod but usually smaller [syn: Melanogrammus aeglefinus]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A marine fish, Melanogrammus aeglefinus, of the North Atlantic, important as a food fish.


Related terms

Extensive Definition

The haddock or offshore hake is a marine fish distributed on both sides of the North Atlantic. Haddock is a popular food fish, widely fished commercially.
The haddock is easily recognised by a black lateral line running along its white side, not to be confused with pollock which has the reverse, ie white line on black side, and a distinctive dark blotch above the pectoral fin, often described as a "thumbprint" or even the "Devil's thumbprint" or "St. Peter's mark".
Haddock is most commonly found at depths of 40 to 133 m, but has a range as deep as 300 m. It thrives in temperatures of 2° to 10°C (36° to 50°F). Juveniles prefer shallower waters and larger adults deeper water. Generally, adult haddock do not engage in long migratory behavior as do the younger fish, but seasonal movements have been known to occur across all ages. Haddock feed primarily on small invertebrates, although larger members of the species may occasionally consume fish.
Growth rates of haddock have changed significantly over the past 30 to 40 years. Presently, growth is more rapid, with haddock reaching their adult size much earlier than previously noted. However, the degree to which these younger fish contribute to reproductive success of the population is unknown. Growth rates of Georges Bank haddock, however, have slowed in recent years. There is evidence that this is the result of an exceptionally large year class in 2003. Spawning occurs between January and June, peaking during late March and early April. The most important spawning grounds are in the waters off middle Norway near southwest Iceland, and Georges Bank. An average-sized female produces approximately 850,000 eggs, and larger females are capable of producing up to 3 million eggs each year.


Reaching sizes up to 1.1 m, haddock is fished for year-round. Some of the methods used are Danish seine nets, trawlers, long lines, fishing nets. The commercial catch of haddock in North America had declined sharply in recent years but is now recovering with recruitment rates running around where they historically were from the 1930s to 1960s.


Haddock is a very popular food fish, sold fresh, smoked, frozen, dried, or to a small extent canned. Haddock, along with cod and plaice, is one of the most popular fish used in British fish and chips.
Fresh haddock has a fine white flesh and can be cooked in the same ways as cod. Freshness of a haddock fillet can be determined by how well it holds together, as a fresh one will be firm; also fillets should be translucent, while older fillets turn a chalky hue. Young, fresh haddock and cod fillets are often sold as scrod in Boston, Massachusetts; this refers to the size of the fish which have a variety of sizes, i.e. scrod, markets, and cows. Haddock is the predominant fish of choice in Scotland in a fish supper. It is also the main ingredient of Norwegian fishballs (fiskeboller).
Unlike the related cod, haddock does not salt well so is often preserved by drying and smoking. One form of smoked haddock is Finnan Haddie, named for the fishing village of Finnan or Findon, Scotland, where it was originally cold-smoked over peat. Finnan haddie is often served poached in milk for breakfast. Smoked haddock naturally has an off-white colour; it is very often dyed yellow, as are other smoked fish. Smoked haddock is the essential ingredient in the Anglo-Indian dish kedgeree.
The town of Arbroath on the east coast of Scotland produces the Arbroath Smokie. This is a hot-smoked haddock which requires no further cooking before eating.

Nutritional value

Haddock is as an excellent source of dietary protein. It also contains a good deal of vitamin B12, pyridoxine, and selenium, and a healthy balance of sodium and potassium, with very little fat.

See also



  • Listed as Vulnerable (VU A1d+2d v2.3)
  • Alan Davidson, North Atlantic Seafood, 1979, ISBN 0-670-51524-8.

External links

haddock in Danish: Kuller
haddock in German: Schellfisch
haddock in Spanish: Melanogrammus aeglefinus
haddock in Esperanto: Eglefino
haddock in Persian: روغن‌ماهی کوچک
haddock in Faroese: Hýsa
haddock in French: Aiglefin
haddock in Irish: Cadóg
haddock in Scottish Gaelic: Adag
haddock in Ido: Eglefino
haddock in Icelandic: Ýsa
haddock in Italian: Melanogrammus aeglefinus
haddock in Lithuanian: Juodadėmė menkė
haddock in Dutch: Melanogrammus aeglefinus
haddock in Japanese: コダラ
haddock in Norwegian: Hyse
haddock in Norwegian Nynorsk: Hyse
haddock in Polish: Plamiak
haddock in Portuguese: Melanogrammus aeglefinus
haddock in Russian: Пикша
haddock in Simple English: Haddock
haddock in Finnish: Kolja
haddock in Swedish: Kolja
haddock in Chinese: 黑線鱈
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