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Gadus morhua  Linnaeus, 1758

Atlantic cod
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Gadus morhua   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Gadus morhua (Atlantic cod)
Gadus morhua
Picture by Morris, P.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Gadiformes (Cods) > Gadidae (Cods and haddocks)
Etymology: Gadus: Latin, gadus = a fish, cod? (Ref. 45335).   More on author: Linnaeus.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; brackish; benthopelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 600 m (Ref. 1371), usually 150 - 200 m (Ref. 54441).   Temperate; ? - 15°C; 83°N - 35°N, 95°W - 86°E (Ref. 1371)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 63.4, range 31 - 74 cm
Max length : 200 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1371); common length : 100.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1371); max. published weight: 96.0 kg (Ref. 9988); max. reported age: 25 years (Ref. 173)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 44-55; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 33 - 45; Vertebrae: 51 - 55. Protruding upper jaw, a conspicuous barbel on the lower jaw, and light lateral line, curved above the pectoral fins. Predorsal distance is less than one third of total length; body depth about 1/5 of total length. Color varies from brownish to greenish or gray dorsally and on upper sides, becoming pale and silvery ventrally. Peritoneum silvery.

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

North Atlantic and Arctic: Ungava Bay in Canada along the North American coast to Cape Hatteras; North Carolina in the western Atlantic. East and west coast of Greenland; around Iceland; from Barents Sea including the region around Bear Island along the European coast to Bay of Biscay (Ref. 88171).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Widely distributed in a variety of habitats, from the shoreline down to the continental shelf. Juveniles prefer shallow (less than 10-30 m depth) sublittoral waters with complex habitats, such as seagrass beds, areas with gravel, rocks, or boulder, which provide protection from predators (Refs. 89383, 89384). Adults are usually found in deeper, colder waters. During the day, form schools and swim about 30-80 m above the bottom, dispersing at night to feed (Ref. 1371, 89385). Omnivorous; feed at dawn or dusk on invertebrates and fish, including young cod. (Ref. 1371). Migrate between spawning, feeding and overwintering areas, mostly within the boundaries of the respective stocks. Migrations >200 km are rare occurrences (Refs. 89386, 89387). Marketed fresh, dried or salted, smoked and frozen; eaten steamed, fried, broiled, boiled, microwaved and baked (Ref. 9988).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Cohen, D.M., T. Inada, T. Iwamoto and N. Scialabba, 1990. FAO species catalogue. Vol. 10. Gadiform fishes of the world (Order Gadiformes). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cods, hakes, grenadiers and other gadiform fishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(10). Rome: FAO. 442 p.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A1bd)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(Aquaculture: production, species profile; fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FIRMS (Stock assessments) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.6250   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=-2.13000 (nan - nan), b=3.07 (3.02 - 3.12), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.4   ±0.8 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (rm=0.2-1.1; also (Ref. 36717)).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High to very high vulnerability (67 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.