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Merluccius productus:   (click for more)

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Synonyms
  •  
  • Homalopomus trowbridgii  Girard, 1856
    FAO Names
    En - North Pacific hake, Fr - Merlu du Pacifique nord, Sp - Merluza del Pacífico norte.
    3Alpha Code: NHA     Taxonomic Code: 1480500407
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Merlangus productus  Ayres, 1855, Proc.Cal.Acad.Nat.Sci., 1:64 (San Francisco).
    Diagnostic Features
    Head rather short, 24.7 to 28.9% of standard length. Measurements in relation to head length: upper jaw 45.8 to 50.9%, snout 31.1 to 35.4%; eye diameter 12.7 to 20.0%;  gill rakers long and slender with pointed tips, total number on first arch 18 to 23.  First dorsal fin with 1 spine and 9 to 12 rays; second dorsal with 39 to 44 rays; anal fin with 39 to 44 rays; tips of pectoral fins usually reaching to or extending beyond origin of anal fin; caudal fin margin always concave.  Scales along lateral line 125 to 144.  Total number of vertebrae 53 to 54.  Colour: silvery on back, whitish on belly. 
    Geographical Distribution

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    West coast of North America from the northern part of Vancouver Island to the northern part of the Gulf of California, mainly ranging between 23°N and 48°N. A record from the Gulf of Alaska is doubtful.
    Habitat and Biology
    Occurs from shallow shelf (or surface and estuarine) waters to depths of 900 to 1 000 m, but is mainly concentrated on the continental shelf. Commercial concentrations are found between 45 and 500 m depth.Although often classified as a demersal species, its distribution and behaviour suggest a largely pelagic existence. Lives in both, oceanic and coastal areas.Adults live in large schools in waters overlying the continental shelf and slope except during the spawning season when they are found several hundred miles seaward. Growth is relatively fast, especially during the first 4 years; lives up to 15 years. Begins to mature at 3 years of age and most individuals are mature at 4 years and about 35 to 42 cm length.Growth is relatively fast, especially during the first 4 years; lives up to 15 years. Begins to mature at 3 years of age and most individuals are mature at 4 years and about 35 to 42 cm length.
    A pelagic spawner, females laying, depending on their size, 80.000 to 500.000 eggs. Spawning occurs mainly in deep waters off southern California and Baja California in winter and spring (from January to April or June).  This hake migrates northward to southern Oregon in summer and autumn (from July to September), and begins to return by December. The northward migration is accompanied by movement toward shore and into shallower water, while the southward migration is accompanied by movement into deeper water and seaward.Feeds on a large variety of fishes and invertebrates,and in turn is preyed upon by larger fishes.
    Size
    Maximum recorded length 91 cm; common to 60 cm.
    Interest to Fisheries
    Since the inception of the USSR hake fishery in 1966 (133,667 t 1966), this species has been an important constituent of distant-water fisheries. Most of the US catch was used for fish meal and pet food while the Soviet catch was frozen for human consumption, as soon as they were caught (this hake tends to become soft and less palatable from 2 to 4 hours after being caught). The catch reported to FAO in 1995 totalled 177,117 t (all taken by USA and almost exclusively from area 67, Northeast Pacific). In the history of the catches since 1966, there have been substantial decreases in 1980 (57,086 t) and in 1991-92 (31,413 and 56,231 t). The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 217 000 t. The countries with the largest catches were USA (216 889 t) and Mexico (111 t). Caught with bottom trawl and midwater trawl from the surface to 800 m. Most common fishing techniques are "demersal bottom trawling", "midwater otter trawling" and "Hake trawling".
    Marketed fresh and frozen fillets. Used also for fishmeal.
    Local Names
    MEXICO : Merluza .
    USA : Pacific hake ,  Whiting .
    Source of Information
    FAO species catalogue. Vol.10. Gadiform Fishes of the world (Order Gadiformes). An Annotated and Illustrated Catalogue of Cods, Hakes, Grenadiers and other Gadiform Fishes Known to Date.Daniel M.Cohen Tadashi Inada Tomio Iwamoto Nadia Scialabba 1990.  FAO Fisheries Synopsis. No. 125, Vol.10. Rome, FAO. 1990. 442p.
    Bibliography
    Frey, (1971)
    Grinols & Tillman, (1970)
    Inada, (1981a)
    Nelson & Larkins, (1970)
     
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