Hake (Merluccius merluccius) is a fish that lives in the deep sea, to about 1,000 m, although mostly from 100–200 m. They rise to the surface during the night to feed on small fish, shrimp, and other crustaceans. They return to the depths during the day for protection from predators.
They are captured using trawl nets, but can also be caught with seine nets or through longlining. The best fish are line caught.
More than 3 million metric tons of Alaska pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) is captured every year. This fish is transformed into fish squares and sticks, which children find easiest to eat given the absence of bones.
Hake and Alaska pollock are sold whole and cleaned or as steaks or fillets, and come fresh or frozen.
Fresh whole fish, cleaned on board the boats, are immediately packed in polystyrene boxes and covered with ice so as to ensure a temperature of 0–2ºC until delivery.
Frozen colin may be pollock. Colin/lieu (hake/pollock) labeling is mandatory.
Whole fish: shiny scales that adhere well to the body, red gills, light and moist eyes.
Steaks or fillets: the flesh should not be discolored and there should be no yellow tinges; the backbone in steaks should be very moist.
Fish that smells even slightly of ammonia is unacceptable.
Frozen hake labeled MSC come from fisheries that respect diversity and the preservation of the species.
Fresh fish, whether whole or in steaks, should be stored in a cool room or refrigerator for several hours at most after delivery, in the ice from their box.
Frozen whole fish, steaks, and fillets can be stored in the freezer after delivery until their use.
Like all fish, hake and pollock are high in proteins, minerals, and vitamins, particularly from the B group.
They are lean fish, and therefore low in lipids and vitamin D.