Fishing methods include longlining and bottom trawling. Gillnet fishing is used in seas with rough seabed topography (which makes them un-trawlable). In Malta it is usually caught by bottom trawling. It is stipulated by law that hake less than 20cm long should be not caught in order to safeguard the continuation of the species.
It is usually available during the summer months.
Western Europe has had European hake as an important part of their diet throughout history. Its diet is based on fish and squid, however they have been known to eat their own young if they are more easily available.
Hake catches in the EU have exceeded the agreed upon Transferrable Allowable Catch by 30 percent in recent years. The fishing methods used to catch hake are destructive and unselective. Hake is a slow-growing fish and matures late, making it less resilient to overfishing since the hake caught may not have had time to reproduce. fish for tomorrow suggests avoiding this fish.