Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found on the continental shelf and slope to depths over 1,000 m (Ref. 27121). Juveniles (to about 64 cm) feed on small crustaceans and small deep-sea fishes such as lanternfishes, whereas larger individuals feed chiefly on small hakes and jack mackerel (Ref. 1371); cannibalism is common (Ref. 27121). Migrates southward in the spring and northward in autumn (Ref. 1371). Breeds throughout the year, peaks of reproductive activity in August and September (Ref. 36731). Marketed smoked, frozen, and fresh on ice; eaten steamed, fried and baked (Ref. 9988). The South African Hake Trawl fishery of this species has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (http://www.msc.org/) as well-managed and sustainable (http://www.msc.org/html/content_1092.htm).
  • Cohen, D.M., T. Inada, T. Iwamoto and N. Scialabba 1990 FAO species catalogue. Vol. 10. Gadiform fishes of the world (Order Gadiformes). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cods, hakes, grenadiers and other gadiform fishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(10). Rome: FAO. 442 p. (Ref. 1371)
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Distribution

Southeast Atlantic: Baie Farte, Angola around Cape to Natal, South Africa. Also found on Valdivia Bank (26°18'S, 6°20'E).
  • Cohen, D.M., T. Inada, T. Iwamoto and N. Scialabba 1990 FAO species catalogue. Vol. 10. Gadiform fishes of the world (Order Gadiformes). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cods, hakes, grenadiers and other gadiform fishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(10). Rome: FAO. 442 p. (Ref. 1371)
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Southeastern Atlantic and southwestern Indian Ocean.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 1; Dorsal soft rays (total): 47 - 54; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 37 - 41
  • Cohen, D.M., T. Inada, T. Iwamoto and N. Scialabba 1990 FAO species catalogue. Vol. 10. Gadiform fishes of the world (Order Gadiformes). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cods, hakes, grenadiers and other gadiform fishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(10). Rome: FAO. 442 p. (Ref. 1371)
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Size

Maximum size: 1400 mm TL
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Max. size

140 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 6605))
  • Cohen, D.M. 1986 Merlucciidae. p. 324-326. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. (Ref. 6605)
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Diagnostic Description

Light brown above, silvery to white below (Ref. 6605).
  • Cohen, D.M., T. Inada, T. Iwamoto and N. Scialabba 1990 FAO species catalogue. Vol. 10. Gadiform fishes of the world (Order Gadiformes). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cods, hakes, grenadiers and other gadiform fishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(10). Rome: FAO. 442 p. (Ref. 1371)
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Ecology

Habitat

Environment

bathydemersal; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); marine; depth range 50 - 1000 m (Ref. 27121), usually 150 - 450 m (Ref. 27121)
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
  • Bianchi, G., K.E. Carpenter, J.-P. Roux, F.J. Molloy, D. Boyer and H.J. Boyer 1999 FAO species identification field guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of Namibia. FAO, Rome. 250 p. (Ref. 27121)
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Depth range based on 5413 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 2906 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 20 - 512
  Temperature range (°C): 6.055 - 19.831
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.823 - 31.493
  Salinity (PPS): 34.414 - 35.415
  Oxygen (ml/l): 1.685 - 5.408
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.477 - 2.264
  Silicate (umol/l): 3.637 - 22.185

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 20 - 512

Temperature range (°C): 6.055 - 19.831

Nitrate (umol/L): 1.823 - 31.493

Salinity (PPS): 34.414 - 35.415

Oxygen (ml/l): 1.685 - 5.408

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.477 - 2.264

Silicate (umol/l): 3.637 - 22.185
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 50 - 1000m.
From 50 to 1000 meters.

Habitat: bathydemersal. Found on the continental shelf and slope (Ref. 6605). Young (to about 64 cm) feed on small crustaceans and small deep-sea fishes such as lanternfishes, whereas larger individuals feed chiefly on small hakes such as @M. capensis@ and @M. paradoxus@ (Ref. 9708) and jack mackerel. Migrates southward in the spring and northward in autumn. Preyed upon by @Lophius vomerinus@, @Chelidonichthys capensis@ and @Genypterus capensis@ (Ref. 9583). Marketed smoked and frozen; eaten steamed, fried and baked (Ref. 9988).
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Migration

Oceanodromous. Migrating within oceans typically between spawning and different feeding areas, as tunas do. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
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Trophic Strategy

Found on the continental shelf and slope to depths over 1,000 m (Ref. 27121). Juveniles (to about 64 cm) feed on small crustaceans and small deep-sea fishes such as lanternfishes, whereas larger individuals feed chiefly on small hakes and jack mackerel (Ref. 1371, 9708, 9583 ); cannibalism is common (Ref. 27121). Migrates southward in the spring and northward in autumn (Ref. 1371).
  • Pauly, D. 1989 Food consumption by tropical and temperate fish populations: some generalizations. J. Fish Biol. 35(Suppl. A):11-20. (Ref. 4587)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Merluccius capensis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Merluccius capensis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 17
Specimens with Barcodes: 35
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Threats

Not Evaluated
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; price category: high; price reliability: reliable: based on ex-vessel price for this species
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 1992 FAO yearbook 1990. Fishery statistics. Catches and landings. FAO Fish. Ser. (38). FAO Stat. Ser. 70:(105):647 p. (Ref. 4931)
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Wikipedia

Merluccius capensis

The shallow-water Cape hake (Merluccius capensis) is a merluccid hake of the genus Merluccius, found in the south-eastern Atlantic Ocean, along the coast of South Africa. Its range extends southwards around the coast and into the Indian Ocean. On the east coast, it is less abundant and is rarely found in significant numbers north of KwaZulu-Natal. On the west coast, M. capensis occurs as far north as Benguela in Angola, where its distribution overlaps that of Merluccius polli, the Benguela hake.

In South Africa, M. capensis is one of the most important commercial food fishes and locally is generally known as stockfish (this English name being derived from the Afrikaans stokvis).[1]

Very similar to Merluccius merluccius (European hake) and Merluccius paradoxus (the deep-water Cape hake), M. capensis has an average length of about 50 cm, up to a maximum of about 120 cm (47 in). It lives close to the bottom on the continental shelf and upper slope at depths from 50 to 500 m, usually not below 400 m. Its preferred depth partly overlaps that of Merluccius paradoxus between depths of 200 and 400 m.

The shallow-water Cape hake might be classified as a euryphagous carnivore; immature specimens feed on small, deep-sea fishes and crustaceans. Large hake feed on squid and fishes, as well; smaller hake and jack mackerel are major components of their diet.[2]

The shallow-water Cape hake migrates vertically, daily, being demersal by day and nektonic by night. On a seasonal basis, it migrates southwards in spring and northwards in autumn. Spawning is variably reported either to be year-round, or to occur mainly from mid-spring to early summer.

The Cape hake is often fished together with the species Merluccius paradoxus, which generally lives at greater depths. Most reported catches combine both species, but the range of M. capensis continues towards the north-west coast of southern Africa, in the region of Angola, where, for practical purposes, M. paradoxus does not occur.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Smith, Margaret M.; Heemstra, Philip C. (1995). Smiths' sea fishes. Grahamstown, South Africa: Southern Book Publishers. ISBN 978-1-86812-032-1. 
  2. ^ a b Lloris, Domingo (2005). Hakes of the world (family Merlucciidae) : an annotated and illustrated catalogue of hake species known to date. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 92-5-104984-X.  available for download at http://www.fao.org
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