Products of the Sea

Hubbsi hake or Argentine Hake

Merluza Hubbsi

Hubbsi hake (Merluccius hubbsi), also known as Argentine hake, is a species of white fish that inhabits the cold waters of the South Atlantic, specifically in the areas near Argentina and Uruguay and the Falklands Islands. Its scientific name, “hubbsi”, is a tribute to the prominent ichthyologist Carl Leavitt Hubbs, who made important contributions to the study of ichthyology.

Origine and distribution of the Hubbsi hake:

The Hubbsi hake is found mainly in the deep waters of the South Atlantic. Its habitat ranges from the coasts of Argentina and Uruguay to southern Brazil. It prefers cold waters, generally between 5°C and 10°C, which makes it more common in more southern latitudes and at depths between 50 and 500 metres.

Due to its extensive area of distribution, two main fishing grounds can be considered, located: – around the Falkland Islands, known as the Falkland Islands Inner and Outer Conservation Zones (FICZ and FOCZ), and – international waters adjacent to the Argentine Exclusive Economic Zone.

Physical characteristics of Hubbsi hake:

Hubbsi hake is an elongated, laterally compressed fish with a large head and a prominent lower jaw. Its colouring varies from greenish-grey to silver, with a lighter belly. It has a dark lateral line extending along its body. Juveniles may have dark spots along the body, which tend to fade as they grow.

Its life cycle differs according to sex. The maximum age observed in males is 9 years and 11 years in females. Sexual maturity is reached at 2.6 years of age.

Size and Weight

 Hubbsi hake is a medium to large in size. Adult specimens usually reach lengths ranging from 30 to 60 centimetres, although individuals up to 90 centimetres have been recorded. Their weight varies according to age and size, with individuals weighing up to several kilograms.

Feeding of Argentine hake

 Hubbsi hake is a voracious predator that feeds mainly on smaller fish, squid and crustaceans. Its diet may vary according to the availability of prey in its environment and its stage of development.

Method of capture:

The fishing gear used is the trawl net, which works on the seabed. The species is mainly caught by medium and large vessels operating on high seas.

Economic Importance:

 Hubbsi hake is a species of great commercial importance in the South Atlantic region. It is one of the main fishing resources of Argentina and Uruguay, where a well-established fishing industry dedicated to its capture and processing can be found. It is traded both in the domestic and international markets, as it is in demand for its excellent flavour and versatility in the kitchen.

Hake is a highly prized fish because of the quantity of its meat, which is white and fat-free, and because it has very few bones, which makes it easy to eat. In Spain, it is extremely popular to the point of being the leading European consumer (6 kg. per person per year), accounting for approximately half of all European hake consumption, and the second highest in the world after Japan. In Europe, the other major hake consumers are Portugal, France and the United Kingdom.



Due to its economic importance, Hubbsi hake has been subject to regulations and fishery management measures to ensure its long-term sustainability. However, it is essential to  responsible fishing practices and to manage marine resources appropriately. One of the methods used by countries to ensure the sustainability of this fishery resource has been the setting of maximum annual fishing quotas, thus ensuring the adequate coexistence of the protection of natural resources with profitable economic exploitation.

Nutritional assessment of the hake:

 Hake is one of the white or lean fish, with a fat percentage of less than 3%, within which its content in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids stands out. It has a high protein content of high biological value; it is a source of minerals such as selenium, phosphorus and potassium. In terms of vitamins, vitamin B12 continues to be the most important (one serving of hake covers 80% of the recommended intake for men and women aged 20 to 39 years who do moderate physical activity), followed by vitamin B3 or niacin.

Nutritional composition

Food Composition Tables. Moreiras et al., 2013. (HAKE). Recommendations: Recommended Intakes/day for men and women aged 20-39 years with moderate physical activity. Recommendations: Nutritional targets/day. Consensus of the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition, 2011. Recommendations: Dietary Reference Intakes (EFSA, 2010). 0: Virtually absent in the food.Tr: Traces.

In short, the Hubbsi hake is an iconic species of the South Atlantic, valued both for its economic importance and its role in the marine ecosystem. With its distinctive appearance and delicious taste, it continues to fascinate fishermen, scientists and food lovers around the world.


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