European hake (Merluccius merluccius) is an important predator of deeper shelf-upper slope Mediterranean
communities. It is a nectobenthic species distributed over a wide depth range (20−1000 m) throughout the Mediterranean Sea and the north east Atlantic region (Fisher et al.,
1987). Notwithstanding the ecological and economic importance (Oliver and Massutí, 1995) of hake in the
Mediterranean, many aspects of its biology (e.g., recruitment and reproduction), due to multiple spawning
(Sarano, 1986) and the current state of exploitation, are poorly understood (Arneri and Morales-Nin, 2000).