Silver hake (Merluccius bilinearis)—Painting by Jean Helmer
Any of several large marine fishes (genus Merluccius) usually considered part of the cod family. Hakes are elongated, large-headed fishes with large, sharp teeth, two dorsal fins (one notched), and a notched anal fin. They are swift carnivores and, though somewhat soft-fleshed, are used as food. Hakes are found throughout the Atlantic, in the eastern Pacific, and along New Zealand. In eastern North America, the name is also applied to several related marine fishes (genus Urophycis), including the economically important white hake and red hake.