Pacific cod

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Pacific Cod
Gadus macrocephalus.png
Gadus macrocephalus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Gadiformes
Family: Gadidae
Genus: Gadus
Species: G. macrocephalus
Binomial name
Gadus macrocephalus
Tilesius, 1810

The Pacific cod, Gadus macrocephalus, is an important commercial food species. It is also known as gray cod or grey cod, and grayfish or greyfish. It has three separate dorsal fins, and the catfish-like whiskers on its lower jaw. In appearance, it is similar to the Atlantic cod. A bottom dweller, it is found mainly along the continental shelf and upper slopes with a range around the rim of the North Pacific Ocean, from the Yellow Sea to the Bering Strait, along the Aleutian Islands, and south to about Los Angeles, down to the depths of 900 meters (~ 3000 feet). May grow up to 1 m (39") and weigh up to 15 kg (33 lbs). It is found in huge schools.[1]

Molecular genetic analyses strongly suggest that Pacific cod and Greenland cod (Gadus ogac) from Greenland–the Arctic ocean are the same species; G. ogac is then a junior synonym of G. macrocephalus.[2] Nevertheless, ITIS still lists Gadus ogac as a valid name.[3] This change would greatly expand the geographic range of Pacific cod.


Global capture of Pacific cod in tonnes reported by the FAO, 1950–2010[1]

In the Northwest Pacific catches of Pacific cod by the United States trawl fishery and joint-venture fisheries increased from less than 1,000 tonnes in 1979 to nearly 91,000 tonnes in 1984 and reached 430,196 tonnes in 1995. Today, catches are tightly regulated and the Pacific cod quota is split among fisheries that use hook and line gear, pots, and bottom trawls.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gadus macrocephalus (Tilesius, 1810) FAO, Species Fact Sheet. Retrieved April 2012.
  2. ^ Carr, S. M.; Kivlichan, D. S.; Pepin, P.; Crutcher, D. C. (1999). "Molecular systematics of gadid fishes: Implications for the biogeographic origins of Pacific species". Canadian Journal of Zoology 77: 19–26. doi:10.1139/z98-194.  edit
  3. ^ "Gadus ogac". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 


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