WHITING; NEW ENGLAND HAKE (Merluccius bilinearis). Differs from true hakes (genus Urophycis) Drawing by H. L. Todd
Silver hake are strong swift swimmers, well armed and extremely voracious. Probably a complete diet list would include the young of practically all the Gulf of Maine Fishes. A 23¼ inch silver hake, taken at Orient, N. Y., had 75 herring, 3 inches long, in its stomach. And it is probable that the silver hake that frequent Georges Bank feed chiefly on young haddock. As sweet a fish as one could ask, if eaten fresh or if slack salted overnight and used for breakfast the next morning. Soften so fast they must be frozen quickly.
From Fishes of the Gulf of Maine by Bigelow and Schroeder, 1953. Online courtesy of MBL/WHOI. http://www.gma.org/fogm/Merluccius_bilinearis.htm
Massachusetts landings of silver hake reached a peak in the 1950s with a high of 108 million pounds in 1957. From 2010 to 2016 landings have been in the range of 7 to 9 million pounds. (NOAA)