The Gadidae are a family of marine fish, included in the order Gadiformes, known as the cods, codfishes, or true cods.[2] It contains several commercially important fishes, including the cod, haddock, whiting, and pollock.

Most gadid species are found in temperate waters of the Northern Hemisphere, but several range into subtropical, subarctic, and Arctic oceans, and a single (southern blue whiting) is found in the Southern Hemisphere. They are generally medium-sized fish, and are distinguished by the presence of three dorsal fins on the back and two anal fins on the underside. Most species have barbels on their chins, which they use while browsing on the sea floor. Gadids are carnivorous, feeding on smaller fish and crustaceans.[1]

Gadids are highly prolific, producing several million eggs at each spawning. This contributes to their high population numbers, which, in turn, makes commercial fishing relatively easy.[3]

Concepts differ about the contents of the family Gadidae. The system followed by FishBase includes a dozen genera.[1] Alternatively, fishes in the current Lotidae (with burbot, cusk) and Phycidae (hakes) have also been included in the Gadidae, as its subfamilies Lotinae and Phycinae.[2][4]

Temporal range: Oligocene–recent
Atlantic cod
Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Gadiformes
Family: Gadidae
Rafinesque, 1810


See also


  1. ^ a b c Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2008). "Gadidae" in FishBase. December 2008 version.
  2. ^ a b "Gadidae". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  3. ^ Cohen, Daniel M. (1998). Paxton, J. R.; Eschmeyer, W. N. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 130–131. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.
  4. ^ Nelson, J. S. 2006. Fishes of the World, 4th edition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

External links

  • Media related to Gadidae at Wikimedia Commons
  • Data related to Gadidae at Wikispecies
Arctogadus glacialis

Arctogadus glacialis, known also with ambiguous common names Arctic cod and polar cod, is an Arctic species of fish in the cod family Gadidae, related to the true cod (genus Gadus). Arctogadus glacialis is found in icy water. They grow to about 30 cm long, and are favorite food of narwhals and other arctic whales.

Boreogadus saida

Boreogadus saida, known as the polar cod or as the Arctic cod, is a fish of the cod family Gadidae, related to the true cod (genus Gadus). Another fish species for which both the common names Arctic cod and polar cod are used is Arctogadus glacialis.

B. saida has a slender body, a deeply forked tail, a projecting mouth, and a small whisker on its chin. It is plainly coloured with brownish spots and a silvery body. It grows to a length of 40 cm (16 in). This species is found further north than any other fish (beyond 84°N) with a distribution spanning the Arctic seas off northern Russia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.

This fish is most commonly found at the water's surface, but is also known to travel at depths greater than 900 m. The polar cod is known to frequent river mouths. It is a hardy fish that survives best at temperatures of 0–4 °C, but may tolerate colder temperatures owing to the presence of antifreeze protein compounds in its blood. They group in large schools in ice-free waters.

B. saida feeds on plankton and krill. It is in turn the primary food source for narwhals, belugas, ringed seals, and seabirds. They are fished commercially in Russia.


Cod is the common name for the demersal fish genus Gadus, belonging to the family Gadidae. Cod is also used as part of the common name for a number of other fish species, and some species suggested to belong to genus Gadus are not called cod (the Alaska pollock).

The two most common species of cod are the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), which lives in the colder waters and deeper sea regions throughout the North Atlantic, and the Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus), found in both eastern and western regions of the northern Pacific. Gadus morhua was named by Linnaeus in 1758. (However, G. morhua callarias, a low-salinity, nonmigratory race restricted to parts of the Baltic, was originally described as Gadus callarias by Linnaeus.)

Cod is popular as a food with a mild flavour and a dense, flaky, white flesh. Cod livers are processed to make cod liver oil, an important source of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). Young Atlantic cod or haddock prepared in strips for cooking is called scrod. In the United Kingdom, Atlantic cod is one of the most common ingredients in fish and chips, along with haddock and plaice.

Cod as food

This article is about cod and other cod-like fishes from the family of Gadidae, such as haddock, pollock and whiting, regarded as food.

East Siberian cod

The East Siberian cod (Arctogadus borisovi) also known as the toothed cod, is an Arctic fish closely similar to the Arctic cod Arctogadus glacialis and also related to true cods (genus Gadus). It has been differentiated in appearance from the Arctic cod by having pronounced chin barbel. Their sides and back are dark olive and the belly are light grey with dark spots. They may grow up to 60 cm.Fishes attributed to East Siberian cod are found off the western half of the Canadian coast and the coasts of Siberia and also off northern and southern coasts of Greenland. The fish prefers living close to the sea floor at depths of 15 to 40 m, but it sometimes enters estuaries. They may also be found under pack ice. They are of little economic value.Newer research, based on both morphological and mitochondrial DNA data, has however concluded that the East Siberian cod is not a distinct species from the Arctic cod, but the genus Arctogadus comprises just a single species i.e. the Arctic cod Arctogadus glacialis.


Gadiculus, or the silvery pouts, are genus of cod, fishes in the family Gadidae. They are distributed in the coastal waters of the Northeast Atlantic and the adjacent Mediterranean Sea. They do not grow larger than 15 cm (5.9 in) and are of minor importance to local commercial fisheries.


The haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) is a saltwater fish from the family Gadidae, the true cods, it is the only species in the monotypic genus Melanogrammus. It is found in the North Atlantic Ocean and associated seas where it is an important species for fisheries, especially in northern Europe. It is also an important food fish and it is marketed fresh, frozen and smoked; smoked varieties include the Finnan haddie and the Arbroath smokie.


The term hake refers to fish in either of:

Family Merlucciidae of northern and southern oceans

Family Phycidae (sometimes subfamily Phycinae in family Gadidae) of the northern oceans

List of diseases and parasites in cod

Cod and related species in the family Gadidae are susceptible to a variety of diseases and parasites.


Merlangius merlangus, commonly known as whiting or merling, is an important food fish in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean and the northern Mediterranean, western Baltic, and Black Sea. In Anglophonic countries outside the whiting's natural range, the name has been applied to various other species of fish.


Microgadus, the Tomcods, is a genus of cods.

Norway pollock

The Norway pollock is a rare fish of the Gadidae (codfish) family, known from the Barents Sea waters of northern Norway and Russia. The fish is close to the Alaska pollock of the Pacific Ocean (Gadus chalcogrammus = Theragra chalcogramma), and was first named as another species in the same genus, Theragra finnmarchica Kofoed, 1956. Currently it is considered to be conspecific with the Pacific species and is attributed to Gadus chalcogrammus. The history of the species in the Barents Sea is unknown.


Pollock (pronounced ) is the common name used for either of the two species of North Atlantic marine fish in the genus Pollachius. Pollachius pollachius is referred to as pollock in both North America and the United Kingdom, while Pollachius virens today is usually known as coley in the British Isles (derived from the older name coalfish). Other names for P. pollachius include the Atlantic pollock, European pollock, lieu jaune, and lythe; while P. virens is also known as Boston blue (distinct from bluefish), silver bill, or saithe.

Poor cod

The poor cod, Trisopterus minutus, is a temperate marine fish belonging to the cod family (Gadidae). It is red brown in colour and has a pronounced chin barbel. It may grow up to a length of 40 cm. It is usually found in small shoals at depths between 10 and 300 metres on muddy or sandy bottoms. Its distribution spans the eastern Atlantic; from Norwegian coasts to Portugal and along the Atlantic coast of Morocco; also in the Mediterranean. Spawning takes place towards the end of winter. They are often regarded as a mini species and are commonly confused with pouting as they have a similar appearance. They are often seen as a menace for anglers and have little commercial value and so are not currently at any risk of extinction.

They feed on crustaceans, small fish and marine worm. They are eaten by seals, dolphins and larger fish. It is commercially harvested for the production of fish meal, and in southern Europe as food.

Raniceps raninus

The tadpole fish (Raniceps raninus) is a species of Gadidae fish native to the northeast Atlantic Ocean around the coasts of France, Ireland, and the United Kingdom and the North Sea. This species grows to a total length of 27.5 cm (10.8 in). It is of no importance to the commercial fishery industry, though it can be found in the aquarium trade and is displayed in public aquaria.

Saffron cod

The saffron cod (Eleginus gracilis) is a commercially harvested fish closely related to true cods (genus Gadus). It is dark grey-green to brown, with spots on its sides and pale towards the belly. It may grow to 60 cm and weigh up to 1.3 kg.

Its range spans the North Pacific, from Korea and the Sea of Okhotsk in the west to the northern Gulf of Alaska and eastern Banks Island in the east. It normally occurs in shallow coastal waters at less than 60 m depth but may also be found at depths up to 200 m. The saffron cod may also enter brackish and even fresh waters, occurring quite far up rivers and streams, but remaining within regions of tidal influence.

Saffron cods begin to mature during their third year of life. They feed on fish and small crustaceans. They are commercially fished in many areas of the northwestern Pacific. The country with the largest catch is Russia. It is used for human consumption in the Russian Federation and Japan, fresh or frozen.

Trisopterus esmarkii

Trisopterus esmarkii, the Norway pout, is a species of fish in the cod family. It is found in the Barents Sea, North Sea, Baltic Sea, off the coasts of Norway, Iceland, the British Isles and elsewhere in the northeast Atlantic Ocean. It prefers depths between 100 and 200 m (330–660 ft), but occurs from 50 to 300 m (160–980 ft). Norway pout can reach 35 cm (14 in), but are more common at around 19 cm (7.5 in).It is extensively fished, mostly for conversion into fishmeal, with 877,910 t taken in 1974, and only 39,223 t taken in 2008.

Trisopterus luscus

Trisopterus luscus (bib, pout whiting, pout or most commonly pouting) is a seafish belonging to the cod family (Gadidae).

Whiting (fish)

A number of Actinopterygiian fish have been given the common name whiting.

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