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Northeast Arctic haddock

HI 019403

All haddock along the Norwegian coast north of Stad, in the Barents Sea and on the west side of Svalbard belongs to this stock, although new genetic analyses suggest that the stock south of Lofoten are different from the haddock further north. 

The haddock growth varies greatly from year to year and from area to area, but on average the immature haddock grows 7–9 cm per year. Growth rates decreases with age, especially from the age of maturation. The haddock becomes sexually mature at the age of 4–7, when it is between 40 and 60 cm long. It spawns scattered in deep water, the main spawning area being on the west side of the Tromsøflaket bank. Spawning takes place in the spring.

Haddock is a demersal fish but is also found higher up in the water column, especially young haddock that are mainly feeding on plankton. Older and larger haddock eat fish eggs and fish, and feeds on spawning capelin along the coast of Finnmark, but the most important prey are benthic invertebrates. Younger haddock is eaten by for example, cod, harp seals and minke whales. From stomach samples of cod, the amount of haddock eaten by cod is calculated and taken into account in the annual stock assessments.