Everything You Need to Know About Cod Fishing

What is a Cod?

Cod (Gadus) is a genus within the family of Gadidae, consisting of three species which are Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), Pacific cod (Gadus microcephalus), and Greenland cod (Gadus ogac). Many other species are commonly referred to as cod. However, they are not actually within the Gadus genre but are in the Gadidae family. These include Arctic, East Siberian, Saffron, polar, rock, poor, pelagic, small-headed, tadpole, and eucla cod.

All cod are demersal fish or groundfish, meaning they live and feed near the bottom of the ocean. What separates cod (the Gadus genre) from others in their family is three dorsal and two anal fins. They all also have a chin barbell, broom-shaped tails, and heavy bodies.

Atlantic cod can range in color from green, gray, brown, and black with dark spots. Pacific cod are typically brown with a white horizontal line. Greenland cod can range between shades of brown and silver.

How big do Cod get?

Out of the three species, Atlantic cod tend to be the largest and can grow to over 100 pounds. However, the average caught is only between four and 15 pounds. Pacific and Greenland cod can grow to over four feet long and 40 pounds, yet the average is only five to ten pounds.

It is believed that the dramatic decrease in size is due to intense population pressures put on cod by commercial fishing. Their popularity for both their meat and livers for oil makes them a species that has been dramatically overfished.

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