Haddock, a popular whitefish, is known for its flaky, clean texture and can be cooked a number of ways, including baked, broiled, smoked, and poached. Haddock is a good substitute for Atlantic cod, and is readily found around New England year-round. Whenever possible, look for haddock caught by hook or longline from the US.

Also known as:

Atlantic haddock, haddie

Availability:

Year-round

Product forms:

Fresh or frozen fillets, whole fish, headed and gutted

Substitutions:

Hook-caught haddock can be substituted for any other whitefish such as Atlantic cod
Haddock fishery: Haddock is typically fished using bottom longlines or trawl nets. More.

Conservation notes:

Hook caught haddock is considered an ocean-friendly seafood choice because populations on the major fishing grounds are healthy and the fishing gear used does not cause substantial habitat destruction. More.

Last updated: June 2010

Haddock Fishery

The commercial fishery for haddock began in the US in the early 1920s. After heavy overfishing into the late 1970s, haddock stocks in the western North Atlantic began to crash. Stringent management measures put in place in the US fishery, such as limits on fishing effort, closing certain areas, and changes to the minimum legal size limits seemingly helped haddock populations begin to recover in the late 1990s. According to the latest stock assessments, haddock stocks are now rebuilt and are no longer overfished.


The haddock fishery in the US takes place in the Gulf of Maine and on Georges Bank. Fishermen use several types of gear to land haddock. Most landings come by way of bottom trawling, but the more environmentally responsible options of bottom longlining and other hook gear (such as jigs and vertical hook and line gear) is gaining traction in the industry. Gillnets are also used to harvest a small percentage of haddock in the US. Haddock is also fished in Canada, Iceland, Norway, and the UK. Bottom trawls and bottom longlines are used in these fisheries as well.

Conservation Notes

Hook-caught haddock is an ocean-friendly seafood choice because the stocks have recently recovered from overfishing and appear to be in good shape. Additionally, the fishing methods used in the hook fishery (e.g., bottom longline and other hook gear) causes relatively little environmental impact, particularly when compared with methods such as bottom trawling.


The type of fishing gear used, along with the health of the stocks and effective management is an important aspect of sustainability. Many types of commercial fishing gear can cause substantial habitat destruction, or may catch large numbers of unwanted fish and other animals (bycatch). Environmentally responsible gear types minimize impacts to habitat and are more selective for the species being targeted.

Bottom trawling, which consists of large nets that are dragged across the sea floor, can result in substantial damage to ocean floor habitats and catches a large percentage of unwanted fish and other marine animals (bycatch). Benthic or bottom longlines, as well as other hook gear, impart much less impact on sea floor habitats and have lower bycatch rates than trawling. So whenever possible, we encourage you to ask for haddock caught by longline or other types of hook gear.