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The haddock, a member of the cod family, inhabits both the American and European coasts of the Atlantic Ocean.  In the northwest Atlantic, it ranges from the southern end of the Grand Banks to Cape Cod in the summer, and it extends its range southward to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, in the winter. Haddock, like the closely related cod, and pollock, are easily distinguished from other coastal Massachusetts fish by their three dorsal and two anal fins.  The front dorsal fin is triangular in shape and taller than the following two.  Haddock can be distinguished from the other closely related members of the cod family by a black lateral line, which is a series of sensory pores that detect local disturbances in the water, and a large spot on each side of the body over the pectoral fins.  The largest recorded haddock, which was landed by a commercial vessel, weighed 37 pounds and measured 44 inches in length. Haddock inhabit deep, cool waters, rarely entering estuaries or river mouths.  They are primarily found at depths of 140 to 450 feet and generally avoid depths of less than 30 feet. Haddock prefer substrates of gravel, smooth rock, or sand littered with shells and water temperatures of 35 to 50 degrees F.  They migrate seasonally to areas that provide optimal habitat conditions. In winter, haddock move to deep water where the temperature is warmer and more constant than that in shallower areas.  Most winter offshore from southern New Jersey to Cape Hatteras.  By early spring they seek more northerly areas in New England, moving into shallower waters of the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank, where they remain all summer.  The meat of haddock is lean and white; it is less firm than cod and flakes beautifully when cooked.  Haddock is excellent baked, broiled, poached, or used in chowders and stews. Traditionally, New Englanders fry haddock fillets or bake them whole with a breadcrumb and spice stuffing. Many chefs are of the opinion that, when it comes to flavor, haddock is far superior to the other members of the cod family.  It is caught by seine nets, trawlers, and long lines.

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