Since 2000, recruitment has been at or above the long-term average, and the 2004–2006 year classes were very strong. More recent year classes approximate the long-term average. Consequently, the current abundance level of young haddock is relatively high. Prospects for the stock are optimistic given fishery management based upon agreed regulations.
A significant problem contributing to uncertainty in stock assessment is that transshipment of haddock catch ― transfer of catch from one vessel to another while at sea ― is underreported; this has been documented in recent years. Unreported removals of haddock during the years 2002–2007 were estimated to be 5–35% of reported landings, depending on estimation method and year. Another problem is that haddock discard occurs at sea, but the amount discarded goes unreported. Such unreported total catch in the haddock fishery is problematic, and one factor causing uncertainty in stock assessment.
Despite this uncertainty, major trends in stock abundance can be tracked, and management advice is based on an agreed-upon harvest control rule which maintains that total catch should not exceed 194,000 tons in 2009.