Cod is a cold-water species which prefers water temperatures around 10°C. It is a large fish. Cod can grow up to more than 1.5 meters long. However, due to overfishing, such large fish are rarely found in the North Sea nowadays. Cod have a typical chin barbel, a kind of beard, which they use to search for food in the sea floor. These fish are sometimes referred to as the vacuum cleaners of the sea bottom because they eat virtually everything. You usually find them close to the bottom, but they also swim higher up in the water column. Young cod are called codling.