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Hake, Underrated and Underutilized

a piece of food

For many years in Maine, before lobster was preeminent, fishermen fished for lobster only seasonally (summer and fall) and had other species they caught seasonally. These species included cod, haddock, hake, pollock (collectively known as “groundfish” because they swim and feed along the bottom), shrimp (that season has been closed in Maine for several years now), and scallops.  Of all of these, Gulf of Maine scallops and several species of groundfish; hake, pollock, haddock and cod to some extent, have stocks that are healthy or rebounding making them a great choice for consumers.  We’re incredibly excited to offer you this sustainably sourced hake, through your purchase you not only get a delectable and easy to prepare fish, but you also have a positive impact on rebuilding the fishing community in Maine. A portion of the sales from the hake we are selling will go to support food insecure Mainers through the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association’s Fishermen Feeding Mainers program. Buying sustainably sourced, locally caught and processed fish like our Hake is a way to support healthy food systems and consume environmentally friendly protein.

The hake we’re offering was caught by a fellow named Rob Tetrault, who fishes out of Portland on his boat F/V Robert Michael. Rob’s vessel is “small” at slightly over 40’, by comparison to many of the corporate owned fleets, like those highlighted in Cod is Dead in the Netflix original series “Rotten” (well worth watching).  We are working hard, in collaboration with partners like the Island Institute, Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association and Gulf of Maine Sashimi (who cut and processed this fish for us) to build the Maine fishing industry back up based on sustainable practices that support local fishermen, their families and their communities.  

Hake is sometimes referred to as “poor man’s haddock”, but really it’s just lesser known, not lesser in quality. Hake belongs to the Cod family, but is more delicate in texture than both cod or haddock.  In preparation for launching this product we did a company-wide taste test for hake, many of our team members had never had Hake before, including Luke, who came away claiming “hake is now my most favorite fish!”

Beyond its taste and texture, mild, flaky and tender, there are many reasons to love hake.  Its what’s referred to as an underutilized species, which essentially means, there’s lots of it and so there are no concerns with overfishing or sustainability. It’s versatile, and because of its mild flavor, more likely than not you can even get your kids to eat it!  Be sure to let us know how that goes!

So, from all of our partners and the fishermen we buy from, thank you! Buy our monkfish, here.