Merluccius bilinearis (Mitchill, 1814)
Silver hake
Merluccius bilinearis
photo by Flescher, D.

Family:  Merlucciidae (Merluccid hakes), subfamily: Merlucciinae
Max. size:  76 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 2,300.0 g; max. reported age: 12 years
Environment:  demersal; depth range 55 - 914 m, oceanodromous
Distribution:  Northwest Atlantic: coast of Canada and USA from Bell Isle Channel to the Bahamas; most common from southern Newfoundland to South Carolina.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 1-1; Dorsal soft rays (total): 47-54; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 37-41. Head large, about 30% of SL . Pectoral fins long, reaching origin of anal fin. Overall color is silvery, somewhat brownish on back, whitish on belly.
Biology:  Abundant on sandy grounds and strays into shallower waters. A voracious predator with cannibalistic habits. Individuals over 40 cm TL prey on fishes such as gadoids and herring, while smaller ones feed on crustaceans, i.e. euphausiids and pandalids; food also includes gaspereau, myctophids, smelt, silversides, mackerel, sand lance, butterfish, snakeblennies, longhorn sculpins and squids (Ref. 5951). The smallest specimen feeds mostly on crustaceans (Ref. 58452). Exhibits seasonal onshore-offshore migration (Ref. 9988). Spawning takes place from June-July in the mid-Atlantic region; July-August in the Gulf of Maine and to the north of Georges Bank, and August-September on the Scotian Shelf (Ref. 58452). Marketed fresh, smoked and frozen; fresh fish are exported to European markets; eaten fried, broiled, microwaved and baked (Ref. 9988).
IUCN Red List Status: Near Threatened (NT); Date assessed: 06 January 2015 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.10.90
Modified by: OrtaƱez, Auda Kareen - 12.09.08

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