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Pacific Cod

Pacific Cod
Latin Name

Gadus macrocephalus

Group Name


Taxonomy details


Pacific cod are found on both sides of the northern Pacific Ocean, with their range beginning near southern California and stretching north to Alaska. From Alaska, they are distributed along the Aleutians and westward into Asia, from the Bering Strait south to Japan and the Yellow Sea. Pacific cod live at variable depths, ranging from three to more than 1000 metres. They are an important commercial fish in Canada and are considered equivalent to Atlantic cod in the marketplace.

Species Description

Pacific cod resemble their Atlantic counterpart, with a fairly elongated body and a brown to grey coloration on their dorsal side, generally becoming a lighter shade spotted with brown on its flanks. Their underside is pale grey to white. They have a long chin barbell, three dorsal fins and a squarish tail. Pacific cod can grow to more than a metre in length and weigh more than 20 kilograms (though they average between 2.5 to 4.5 kilograms). More southerly populations live six to seven years; farther north, they live to eight or nine years.

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