Arctic Cod fish identification, its habitats, characteristics, fishing methods.
The Arctic cod (Arctogadus glacialis) is an Arctic deepwater fish related to the true cod (genus Gadus). The fish has several common names, including polar cod and Greenland cod. Note, however, that another species, Boreogadus saida, also has been called "Arctic cod" and "Polar cod", while the name "Greenland cod" more commonly refers to the species Gadus ogac. Arctic cod is silvery in appearance and can grow up to 30 cm in length. It lacks the chin barbels or this barbel is small of other cod species. Another Arctic gadid, the
East Siberian cod, Arctogadus borisovi, which was until recently considered the closest relative of Arctic cod, has been found not to be distinct from it at all, but should be included in the same species Arctogadus glacialis - the only species of the genus Arctogadus.
The Arctic cod, Arctogadus glacialis, Gadus glacialis, is an Arctic deepwater fish family Gadidae related to the true cod (genus Gadus), also known as Morue arctique in France, Bacalao Del Artico in Spanish, Треска Ледвая in Russian, widely distributed in the western part of the Arctic basin, also the northwest and northeast coasts of Greenland and western part of North Polar Basin, as well as in open waters to the North of the Bering Strait and Wrangell Islands.
Palatine with strong teeth, lateral line straight behind middle of second dorsal fin base, caudal fin slightly emarginated, chin barbel rudimentary of absent. Gill rakers on first arch 30 (27 to 34). Interorbital width 5.6% (4.4 to 6.8) of standard length; horizontal diameter of orbit 9.0% (8.0 to 11.0) of standard length. Not all specimens can be readily identified with these characters.
Barbel on chin usually absent or obsolete. Eyes are large, orbit about equal to snout.
10-13 rays on First dorsal fin.
16-21 rays on the second dorsal fin.
20-25 rays on third dorsal fin.
19-24 rays on First anal fin.
19-26 rays on second anal fin.
28-34 Gill rakers.
Max Size: to 41 cm SL, usually 25-30 cm.
Color is dark, back and sides’ blackish-brown, belly slightly lighter, all fins black.
The Arctic cod are a pelagic species, associated with ice, found mainly in offshore waters, at or beyond the edge of the continental shelf, from the surface to about 1000 m depth, and frequently under ice. Its range is between 85° and 72° north latitude. It maintains a pelagic lifestyle, living in the ice are spaces of the Arctic Ocean and feeding on plankton.
Arctic cod feed mostly on epibenthic mysids and also on amphipods and copepods. For those that are under the ice surface in offshore waters, fish is the principal food item during the winter. Although they prefer to eat mysids, young shrimp, fish, mostly Boreogadus saida, small amphipods inhabiting lower surface of drifting ice, rarely calanoids
Arctic cod becomes mature at the age of 3-4 years; reaching a length of 19-20 cm. Spawning occurs from October to March, floating eggs.
Caught by Norway with trawls between 230 and 930 m depth. The major fishing grounds are located in the northeastern part of the East Siberian Sea, off East Greenland (Sabine Island), and north of the Baffin Sea (74 to 77ºN). It is used as fish meal and oil, and is of minor commercial value, it has little importance as food.
Cod meat is white in color, is moist and lean, medium- to firm-textured, and delicately flavorful with a mild taste. Tender, thick fillets with large flakes that "gape" (separate) when cooked. It is a good source of low fat protein, phosphorus, niacin, and vitamin B12 with a mild flavor and a dense, flaky white flesh. Cod livers are processed to make cod liver oil, an important source of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA).
Cod is excellent for poaching, broiling, baking, braising, and frying. A popular main ingredient in chowders, which are creamy and binding enough to support the big flakes of meat that fall apart when cooked. Whole cod are often stuffed and baked. Heads and bones make fine soup stock.