Gadus macrocephalus, Pacific cod : fisheries, gamefish

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Gadus macrocephalus Tilesius 1810

Pacific cod
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Gadus macrocephalus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Gadus macrocephalus (Pacific cod)
Gadus macrocephalus
Picture by Orlov, A.

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

Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Gadiformes (Cods) > Gadidae (Cods and haddocks)
Etymology: Gadus: Latin, gadus = a fish, cod? (Ref. 45335);  macrocephalus: macrocephalus meaning large head (Ref. 6885).

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; brackish; demersal; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 10 - 1280 m (Ref. 50550), usually 100 - 400 m (Ref. 54440).   Boreal; 6°C - 9°C (Ref. 11800); 63°N - 31°N, 119°E - 119°W (Ref. 54440)

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

Arctic: Chukchi and Beaufort Seas eastward across Arctic Canada to western Greenland; south in the Atlantic Ocean to Gulf of St. Lawrence. Pacific Ocean: eastern Pacific to southern California at Santa Monica, and in the western Pacific to the Yellow Sea.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 67.0, range 23 - 85 cm
Max length : 119 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); max. published weight: 22.7 kg (Ref. 27436); max. reported age: 25 years (Ref. 55701)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 37-57; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 31 - 42; Vertebrae: 49 - 55. Distinguished by the presence of 3 dorsal and 2 anal fins, a long chin barbel (about 3/4 as long as the eye diameter in young, longer than eye diameter in adults), and a space between the second and third dorsal fins that is shorter than the eye diameter (Ref. 27547). Lateral line with a prominent arch under the 1st and 2nd dorsal fins, is straight toward the tail, ending under the 3rd dorsal (Ref. 27547). Brown or gray dorsally, becoming paler ventrally; dark spots or vermiculating patterns on the sides (Ref.1371). Yellow color phases are known (Ref. 27547). Fins dusky; dorsal, anal and caudal fins with white edges that are wider on anal and caudal than on dorsal (Ref. 27547).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found mainly along the continental shelf and upper slopes (Ref. 1371). Form schools (Ref. 9988). They appear to be indiscriminate predators upon dominant food organisms present (Ref. 1371). Young probably feed on copepods and similar organisms (Ref. 27547). Adults feed on fishes, octopi, and large benthic and benthopelagic crustaceans (Ref. 1371); also worms. Parasites of the species include sealworm (Phocanema decipiens) in flesh, copepod (Lernaeocera branchialis) on gills and cestode (Pyramicocephalus phocarum) in the intestine (Ref. 5951). Marketed fresh and frozen for human consumption (Ref. 2850), and also dried or salted and smoked (Ref. 9988). Eaten steamed, fried, broiled, boiled, micro-waved and baked (Ref. 9988). Used in Chinese medicine (Ref. 12166). Minimum depth from Ref. 054440.

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

From late summer to mid-winter, fish move into the deeper water (100 to 250 m) of spawning areas; move inshore to depths of 30 to 60 m after spawning (Ref. 27547). Spawning occurs once a year (Ref. 120291).

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. (Ref. 1371)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)

CITES (Ref. 123416)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: highly commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FishSource | Sea Around Us


Special reports

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Internet sources

Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishipedia | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | RFE Identification | Socotra Atlas | Tree of Life | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 0.5 - 6.4, mean 2.9 °C (based on 495 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.6250   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00741 (0.00639 - 0.00860), b=3.09 (3.05 - 3.13), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  4.2   ±0.1 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Musick et al. 2000 (Ref. 36717); tmax=25; tm=3-8; K=0.11-0.27; Fec >1million).
Prior r = 0.34, 95% CL = 0.22 - 0.51, Based on 7 stock assessments.
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (50 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Low.