About This Fish


The haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) is a marine ray finned fish which belongs to family Gadidae under Order Gadiformes of Class Actnopterygii. It is distributed in Bay of Biscay to Spitzbergen, in the Barents Sea to Novaya Zemlya, around Iceland, Cape May, New Jersey to the Strait of Belle Isle. It is commonly found at depths of 40 - 133 meters, though juveniles prefers shallower waters while larger adults deeper waters.

The haddock is a popular food fish with elongated body. The top of its head, back, and sides down to the lateral line are dark purplish gray. The belly and lower sides of the head are white. The dorsal, pectoral, and caudal fins are dark gray. The lower part of the anal fin is pale and black dots are present at the base. Ventral side of the body is white with black dots. Mouth is relatively small with short lower jaw. Small chin barbell is present and lateral line is dark and uninterrupted. Three dorsal fins and two anal fins are present which are all separated from each other. First anal fin base is short which is less than one-half of pre anal fin base. Scales are overlapped and a large dark blotch is present above the pectoral fin just below the lateral line. It is an omnivorous fish which feeds mainly on small bottom-living organisms including crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms, worms and fishes including sand lance, capelin, silver hake, American eels, herring and argentines. It is a batch spawner and spawning occurs between January and June with peak in late March and early April. An average-sized female produces approximately 850,000 eggs but larger female are capable of producing up to 3 million eggs each year. It grows up to 82 cm in length and can live up to 14 years.

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Location Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
New Hampshire
New Jersey