Overview

Brief Summary

The Pacific cod, Gadus macrocephalus, also known as gray cod, is an important commercial food species. It has three separate dorsal fins, and the catfish-like whiskers on its lower jaw. In appearance, it is similar to the Atlantic Cod (G. morhua). 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. Pacific cod grow relatively quickly, and live up to about 18 years. Fully grown, they can reach 48–49 cm and weigh up to 15 kg. It is found in huge schools, feeding on small invertebrates including clams, worms, shrimp, and small fish. In the Northwest Pacific the USA trawl fishery and joint-venture fisheries increased their cod catches from less than 1,000 tons in 1979 to nearly 91,000 tons in 1984 and reached 430,196 tons 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. In 2010, 15.7% of ground fish caught in Alaska was Pacific cod.

(Alaska Fisheries Science Center; Wikipedia 2011)

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Comprehensive Description

Biology

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. 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). The Bering Sea and Aleutian Island Alaska (Pacific) Cod - Freezer Longline fishery of this species has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (http://www.msc.org/) as well-managed and sustainable (http://www.msc.org/html/content_1243.htm).
  • 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)
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Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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North Pacific: Yellow Sea to the Bering Strait, along the Aleutians, and south to about Los Angeles, USA. Rare in the southern part of its range.
  • 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)
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North Pacific.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 37 - 57; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 31 - 42; Vertebrae: 49 - 55
  • 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)
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Size

Max. size

119 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637)); max. published weight: 22.7 kg (Ref. 27436); max. reported age: 25 years (Ref. 55701)
  • IGFA 2001 Database of IGFA angling records until 2001. IGFA, Fort Lauderdale, USA. (Ref. 40637)
  • Lamb, A. and P. Edgell 1986 Coastal fishes of the Pacific northwest. Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd., B.C., Canada. 224 p. (Ref. 27436)
  • Munk, K.M. 2001 Maximum ages of groundfishes in waters off Alaska and British Columbia and consideration of age determination. Alaska Fish. Res. Bull. 8(1):12-21. (Ref. 55701)
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Maximum size: 1170 mm NG
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Diagnostic Description

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).
  • 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)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat Type: Marine

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Environment

demersal; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); marine; depth range 0 - 1280 m (Ref. 50550), usually 100 - 400 m (Ref. 54440)
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
  • Fedorov, V.V., I.A. Chereshnev, M.V. Nazarkin, A.V. Shestakov and V.V. Volobuev 2003 Catalog of marine and freswater fishes of the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk. Vladivostok: Dalnauka, 2003. 204 p. (Ref. 50550)
  • FAO-FIGIS 2001 A world overview of species of interest to fisheries. Chapter: Gadus macrocephalus. Retrieved on 30 May 2005, from www.fao.org/figis/servlet/species?fid=3011. 4p. FIGIS Species Fact Sheets. Species Identification and Data Programme-SIDP, FAO-FIGIS (Ref. 54440)
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Depth range based on 1943 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1118 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 333
  Temperature range (°C): -1.040 - 8.274
  Nitrate (umol/L): 4.186 - 40.609
  Salinity (PPS): 31.082 - 33.970
  Oxygen (ml/l): 2.013 - 7.863
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.566 - 2.734
  Silicate (umol/l): 16.245 - 72.689

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 333

Temperature range (°C): -1.040 - 8.274

Nitrate (umol/L): 4.186 - 40.609

Salinity (PPS): 31.082 - 33.970

Oxygen (ml/l): 2.013 - 7.863

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.566 - 2.734

Silicate (umol/l): 16.245 - 72.689
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 0 - 875m.
Recorded at 875 meters.

Habitat: demersal. Found mostly between 100 and 400 m in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. Forms schools (Ref. 9988). Appears to be indiscriminate predators upon dominant food organisms present. Diet includes crabs, shrimps, worms, molluscs, saffron cod, pollock, smelt, herring, flounders, cottids, salmon and sardines. Marketed fresh and frozen for human consumption (Ref. 2850), and also dried/salted and smoked (Ref. 9988). Eaten steamed, fried, broiled, boiled, microwaved and baked (Ref. 9988). Used in Chinese medicine (Ref. 12166).
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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Oceanodromous. Migrating within oceans typically between spawning and different feeding areas, as tunas do. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
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Trophic Strategy

Found mainly along the continental shelf and upper slopes (Ref. 1371). A carnivore (Ref. 9137).
  • Livingston, P.A. 1993 Importance of predation by groundfish, marine mammals and birds on walleye pollock Theragra chalcogramma and Pacific herring Clupea pallasi in the eastern Bering Sea. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 102:205-215.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

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).
  • 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)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Gadus macrocephalus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 40 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACCCGCTGATTTTTCTCGACCAATCACAAAGACATTGGCACCCTTTATCTCGTATTTGGTGCCTGAGCCGGCATAGTCGGAACAGCCCTA---AGCCTACTCATTCGAGCAGAGCTAAGTCAACCTGGTGCACTCCTAGGTGAT---GATCAAATTTATAATGTGATCGTTACAGCGCACGCTTTCGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATACCACTAATAATTGGAGGCTTTGGGAACTGACTCATTCCTCTAATG---ATCGGTGCCCCCGATATAGCTTTCCCTCGAATAAATAACATAAGCTTCTGACTTCTCCCTCCATCTTTCCTGCTCCTTTTAGCATCCTCTGGTGTAGAAGCTGGAGCTGGAACAGGCTGAACTGTCTACCCACCTTTAGCCGGAAACCTCGCTCATGCTGGGGCATCTGTTGATCTC---ACTATTTTTTCTCTCCATCTAGCAGGGATTTCATCAATTCTTGGGGCAATTAATTTTATTACCACAATTATTAATATGAAACCTCCAGCAATTTCACAGTACCAAACACCCCTCTTTGTTTGAGCAGTACTAATTACAGCTGTGCTTCTACTATTATCTCTCCCCGTCTTAGCAGCT---GGCATCACGATACTTCTAACTGACCGTAATCTTAACACTTCTTTCTTTGACCCTGCTGGAGGGGGTGATCCCATCCTATATCAACACTTATTCTGATTCTTCGGCCATCCAGAAGTTTATATTCTTATTTTACCCGGATTCGGAATAATTTCCCATATCGTAGCATACTATTCGGGTAAAAAA---GAACCCTTCGGGTACATGGGCATAGTTTGAGCTATGATGGCTATTGGCCTCCTTGGCTTTATTGTATGAGCCCATCACATGTTTACAGTTGGGATAGATGTAGACACACGTGCTTACTTTACATCTGCAACTATAATTATTGCCATTCCAACAGGTGTAAAAGTTTTTAGCTGATTA---GCAACTCTGCATGGGGGC---TCAATTAAATGAGAAACCCCCCTGCTCTGAGCCCTAGGCTTCATTTTCCTCTTTACAGTCGGGGGCTTAACAGGAATTGTACTAGCCAATTCTTCCCTAGATATCGTGCTCCATGACACATACTACGTAGTAGCCCATTTCCACTACGTT---TTATCTATGGGCGCTGTCTTTGCTATTATAGCAGCCTTTGTCCACTGATTCCCACTATTTACAGGCTACACACTTCATGATACTTGAACAAAAATTCATTTTGGGGTAATATTTGTAGGTGTAAATCTTACATTCTTCCCCCAACATTTCCTTGGTCTTGCAGGAATACCACGA---CGGTACTCAGATTACCCTGATGCCTACACA---CTGTGAAACACAGTCTCTTCTATCGGCTCTCTAATTTCTCTAATGGCCGTAATCATATTCCTATTTATTCTGTGAGAAGCCTTCGCTGCCAAACGGGAAGTA---ATAGCAGTTGAAATAACTATAACTAAC
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Gadus macrocephalus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 36
Specimens with Barcodes: 96
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Threats

Not Evaluated
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: highly commercial; gamefish: yes; price category: low; price reliability: reliable: based on ex-vessel price for this species
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 1992 FAO yearbook 1990. Fishery statistics. Catches and landings. FAO Fish. Ser. (38). FAO Stat. Ser. 70:(105):647 p. (Ref. 4931)
  • International Game Fish Association 1991 World record game fishes. International Game Fish Association, Florida, USA. (Ref. 4699)
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Wikipedia

Pacific cod

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.

Fisheries[edit]

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]

Notes[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. 

References[edit]

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