Description: Hake has an elongate body that may reach up to 1.3 m in length. Although superficially similar to the cod-like family, it only has two dorsal fins and one anal fin. The first dorsal fin is short and triangular. The second dorsal fin, like the anal fin, is prolonged. It has a straight lateral line and a large and narrow head with a large mouth. It has a dark blue dorsal colouring but is silvery-grey underneath. Merluccius merluccius has been observed using its pectoral and pelvic fins to dig into soft sandy substrates, often throwing sand onto their backs.
Habitat: The Hake is a demersal species that is usually found between 70-350 m. May be observed feeding alone on the bottom or in shoals in the water column.
Key Identification Features:
- Elongate and up to 1.3 m in length.
- Two dorsal and one anal fin.
- Straight lateral line.
- Narrow head and large mouth with large lips.
- Lower jaw with two rows of teeth, upper jaw with only one.
- Barbel on lower lip is absent.