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Hake in British Columbia

The latest Skipper Otto newsletter talks about how they’re now going to have Hake available:

Even though hake is plentiful in our waters, and we actually fish more hake on the BC coast than we do all five species of salmon (!), it is almost entirely exported to Europe and Asia. That’s why we’re so excited to have met Cary Williams, an independent hake fisherman from Sointula.

We’ll have some recipes from Ned Bell for you as soon as he can, but we recommend poaching this fish in a tomato-y broth, adding it to stews or curries, or battering it for some yummy fish n’ chips. It’s a delicate, very mild fish

From Wikipedia:

Hake is in the same taxonomic order (Gadiformes) as cod and haddock. It is a medium-to-large fish averaging from 1 to 8 pounds (0.45 to 3.63 kg) in weight, with specimens as large as 60 pounds (27 kg).

Further in the Wikipedia article, it looks like Spain consumes half of the hake in Europe. Since it’s in the cod family, it ends up as fish & chips in the UK.

The Skipper Otto introduction and interview with fishermen Cary Williams has more details on why there is no local market in BC:

Almost 100% of the hake caught in BC is exported to foreign markets. And the BC catch is huge. We catch more hake in BC than all the salmon put together! But there is no local market for it. Why? Who knows. A combination of cultural traditions and global supply chains, most likely. The hake industry has been consolidated into the hands of just a few large export-oriented operations: 7 factory vessels that are at sea for months at a time in BC waters, catching, heading, gutting, freezing, and boxing at sea before shipping straight to markets in Russia, Europe, and Asia. The largest markets for hake are in Russia and the Ukraine where hake is a much-loved delicate, mild, white fish.

From the article, here’s a picture of some hake:

A quick search shows lots of European hake recipes. I’ll order some in the future and experiment.