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Cod, Atlantic Cod

Gadus morhua

Method of production - Caught at sea
Capture method - Jig
Capture area - North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area - Faroes (Bank)
Stock detail - Vb 2
Accreditation -
Fish type - White round fish

Sustainability rating Click for explaination of rating

This fish, caught by the methods and in the area listed above, is the least sustainable fish to eat and should be avoided. Click on the rating icon above to read more and on the alternatives tab below to find sustainable fish to eat.


Sustainability overview

Fishing effort in this area has been too high and cod is being exploited unsustainably. The fishery has been closed since January 2009. However, fishing days were allowed to small jiggers when the scientific advice should apply to all fisheries. Thus, because of the very low stock size ICES advises that the fishery should be closed. Avoid eating fish from depleted stocks.

Biology

Cod belongs to a family of fish known as gadoids, which also includes species such as haddock, pollack, pouting and ling. It is a cold-temperate (boreal) marine, demersal (bottom-dwelling) species. Also found in brackish water. Their depth range is 0 - 600 m, but they are more usually found between 150 and 200 m. They have a common length of 100 cm. Maximum length 200 cm. Maximum published weight 96 kg and a maximum reported age of 25 years. In the North Sea cod mature at 4-5 years at a length of about 50 cm. They spawn in winter and the beginning of spring from February to April. Fecundity ranges from 2.5 million eggs in a 5 kg female to a record of 9 million eggs in a 34 kg female. Sex ratio is nearly 50%, with slight predominance of females. The fish has a protruding upper jaw, a conspicuous barbel on the lower jaw (used to look for food), and a light lateral line, curved above the pectoral fins. Widely distributed in a variety of habitats, from the shoreline down to the continental shelf. Juveniles prefer shallow (less than 10-30 m depth) sublittoral waters with complex habitats, such as seagrass beds, areas with gravel, rocks, or boulder, which provide protection from predators. Adults are usually found in deeper, colder waters. During the day, cod form schools and swim about 30-80 m above the bottom, dispersing at night to feed.

Stock information

Stock area
Faroes (Bank)

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Stock information
Two distinct stocks are recognised in the Faroes. The Faroes Bank fishery is not defined in relation to scientific limits, but surveys indicate that the stock is severely depleted. The Bank has been closed to fishing since January 2009, with a nominal landing of 80t in the same year - the lowest since 1965. Because of the very low stock size ICES advises that the fishery should be closed.

Management

The Faroe Bank has been closed to fishing since 1 January 2009. However, in the fishing years 20102011 and 20112012 respectively, a total of 78 and 100 fishing days were allowed to small jiggers in the shallow waters of the Bank. ICES advises that the closure advice should apply to all fisheries.

Capture information

Since 1996 trawlers have been excluded from fishing on the Faroes Bank, and the fishery restricted to longliners and jiggers, with a total fishing ban during the spawning season, March to May. The fishery is now closed to all fishing except jigging.

Read more about capture methods

Alternatives

Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below . Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.

Alaska pollock, Walleye pollock Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Bass, seabass Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Bream, Gilthead Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Cod, Atlantic Cod Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Coley, Saithe Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Haddock Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Hake, Cape

Japanese amberjack, Yellowtail or Seriola

Meagre

Pouting or Bib

Sturgeon Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Tilapia

Whiting Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.


References
ICES Advice 2014, Book 4 http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2014/2014/cod-farb.pdf

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