Haddock is a demersal (or bottom-dwelling) fish typically found at depths of 130 to 985 feet. It prefers flat areas of sand, clay or gravel, and survives on small seafloor animals, cephalopods and fish. It can live up to 20 years, becoming sexually mature when it reaches 15 to 24 inches long—anywhere between 2 and 5 years of age.
Young haddock in the Barents Sea remain relatively stationary; however, larger haddock migrate long distances—down towards the coast of Northern Norway to the banks of Tromsøflaket to spawn. The most important spawning fields are in the North Sea along the continental shelf edge from Møre to Romsdal, and off of southwestern Iceland and the Faeroe Islands. Newly spawned haddock travel with the currents, heading for the seabed when they are 3 to 4 inches long.
Haddock is fished year-round in the North Sea, mainly in the waters near the coast and in the fishing banks of northeastern Norway.
In the summer months, haddock are caught off Møre and Trøndelag using fishing lines and nets. Special whistle lines are used on the East Finnmark coast during the same season. Overall, the most important haddock fishing equipment includes Danish seine nets, trawl nets, traditional nets and fishing lines.
Haddock stocks north of 62° N are in good condition and produce enough fish to ensure safe and productive haddock fishing in the future. Haddock stocks in the North Sea have also been good, but recently, a number of weak years of have led to more-restrictive fishing quotas in that area.
Haddock is especially rich in:
- Protein that builds and maintains every cell in the body
- Vitamin B12, which is important for the body in producing new cells, including red blood cells. Vitamin B12 can contribute to preventing anemia
- Selenium, an important element in an enzyme that fights harmful chemical processes in the body
More nutritional data can be found at www.nifes.no/en/prosjekt/seafood-data