The hake is very important in the Portuguese diet, being appreciated for its low fat content, it is often introduced in the convalescent’s diet. The advent of motor fishing, specially trawl fishing, promoted its marketing.
In the period under analysis, 2010-2020, there was a reduction of the volume captured from 2014, which was reinforced until 2018 at an average annual rate of 11.0%. This tendency was interrupted in 2019, with an annual variation rate of 27.9%, and the catches in 2020 having a similar level to the previous year (-1.1%).
The catches level that was reached in 2020, together with the decrease of the quota for hake, resulted in an utilization rate of 95.3% in Portugal.
The internal supply of hake is insufficient for the satisfaction of the domestic consumption requirements. The trade balance is negative, representing an average deficit of 90 million euros in the period under analysis, with imports coming mainly from three countries: Spain, South Africa and Namibia.
In the first sale market, the hake unloaded in national ports reaches an average price higher than that traded by the total of marine fish (1.7 times higher in the period 2010-2020), representing in this period 3.0% of the value of marine fish sold at auction. In 2020 the price increased 15.6%, relatively to the previous year, thus contributing for the raise of the catches value.
The fishing ports of Peniche, Nazaré and Sesimbra are those where the largest quantities of hake are landed (42.9% of the total between 2010 and 2020).