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Atlantic cod
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Atlantic cod

Atlantic cod
Scientific classification
Binomial name
Gadus morhua
The Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) is a well-known foodfish belonging to the family Gadidae. It grows to two metres (6 1/2 feet) in length. Colouring is brown to green on the dorsal side, shading to silver ventrally. Its habitat ranges from the shoreline down to the continental shelf.

In the western Atlantic Ocean cod has a distribution north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and round both coasts of Greenland; in the eastern Atlantic it is found from the Bay of Biscay north to the Arctic Ocean, including the North Sea, areas around Iceland and the Barents Sea, which is the most important feeding area.

Table of contents
1 North-East Atlantic Cod
2 North-West Atlantic Cod
3 See also
4 External links

North-East Atlantic Cod

The North-East Arctic Cod, which also is an Atlantic cod, is the world's largest stock of true cod. It is also recognised as skrei (a Norwegian name differing between the Atlantic-Arctic and the coastal cod). Newly hatched larvae feed on larval copepods. As they grow, they turn to krill and other crustaceans, and then to small fish. Adult cod feed mainly on fish such as capelin and herring. The North-East Arctic Cod also shows cannibalistic behaviour. The total catch of North-East Arctic Cod was in 2002 445,060 tons, Norway (202,559 tons) and Russia (184,058 tons), being the major exploiters (Source: ICES).

Catch of Atlantic Cod 1950-2002
North-East Atlantic (blue), North-West Atlantic (green) and Total (red).
Source: FAO Fishstat 2004.
An important cod fishery mainly performed by European Union states in the North Sea, has had a repeatedly reduction in catch quotas and some scientists are now calling for a total moratorium on cod fishing in the waters around the British Isles.

North-West Atlantic Cod

The North-West Atlantic Cod has been regarded as heavily overfished throughout its range, resulting in a crash in the fishery in the United States and Canada during the early nineties. The fishery has yet to recover, and may not recover at all because of a possibly stable change in the food web. The North-west Atlantic populations spawn in the winter and spring in the Cape Cod region in a location called Georges Bank.

The IUCN lists the species as vulnerable.

See also

External links