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The cod family forms a large family of predator fish. Thirty species of cod are found in European waters, one of which lives in fresh water (the burbot). Most species have the characteristic beard on their chin. They use this to search the bottom for fod. Therefore, it is logical that these species live near the sea bottom, although whiting, coal fish and Norway pout prefer swimming in open waters. Cod species are often caught; worldwide, they form at least one seventh of the total amount of fish caught yearly. Only herring are caught in larger amounts.

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