Falkland Islands Fisheries Department

Common Hake - HAK

Common Names

Common hake (UK), Merluza (SP), Morsczuk (PD), Meru (JA)

Scientific Name

Merluccius hubbsi


Medium sized snout, eye and mouth. Thick body with soft flesh and large scales which slough off easily. Two dorsal fins, separated by a notch; second dorsal fin with 34 to 40 fin rays. Anal fin with long base, and 36 to 41 fin rays. Two to 5 gill rakers on upper arch, 9-12 on lower arch (total = 12-16). Tip of pectoral fin in individuals over 40 cm does not reach anal fin origin. Body colouration silvery-grey below, to light brown/silver above.

Size Range

30 to 110 cm. Generally 45 - 55 cm when caught in big shoals. Larger specimens caught occasionally around Loligo and other fisheries.

Depth Range

Generally around 200 m, but found from 50 to 500 m.


Shoals and fishery based to west of the FICZ, where they migrate down from the Argentinean Zone. May also be found around BeauchĂȘne Island in smaller quantities; the larger specimens are generally found there too.

Fishery Status

Major finfish fishery in the FICZ, March to September being the main months.

Additional Information

Difficult to separate from Merluccius australis (Patagonian Hake), which is very similar in size and shape. A project is currently under way to determine the important features which differentiate the two species. Due to the efforts of migration this species can, at times, appear undernourished and flabby. Sometimes may appear bluish due to net damage.