Atlantic Cod, Gadus morhua

The Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) is a well-known benthopelagic food fish belonging to the family Gadidae. It’s also commercially known as cod, coding, or haberdine.

Within the western Atlantic Ocean, cod has a distribution north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and around both coasts of Greenland; in the eastern Atlantic, it is found from the Bay of Biscay north to the Arctic Ocean, including the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, Sea of the Hebrides, areas around Iceland and the Barents Sea.

It can achieve a length of 2 meters and weigh up to 212 pounds. It can live for 25 years and reaches sexual maturity between the ages of 2 and 4, but can be as late as 8 years within the northeast Arctic. The coloration is brown to green, with spots on the dorsal side, shading to a silvery color ventrally. A lateral line is easily visible. The habitat regarding this fish ranges from the shoreline to the continental shelf.

Adult cod create spawning aggregations from the late winter to the spring. The females release their eggs in batches, and the males compete to fertilize them. The fertilized eggs drift with the ocean currents and develop into larvae.

Image Caption:  Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua, swim under a shipwreck laden with invertebrates in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Credit: NOAA FishWatch/Wikipedia