Cod are a saltwater fish. There’s three different species of cod. They are the Atlantic, Pacific, and Greenland cod. They mostly live in cold waters in the Atlantic and Pacific ocean. Take a look below for 26 more interesting and fun facts about cod.
1. While there are certain species of fish, such as rock cod, coral cod and reef cod, that go by the name “cod,” they’re not genetically related to true cods.
2. Fully mature cods can be found in depths as big as 20 feet to 200 feet.
3. Due to such a massive human demand for cod, it resulted in a massive decline of their population.
4. A cod’s size depends on the species. However, an average cod can reach 51 inches in length and can weigh between 55 to 77 pounds. There are some extreme cases of cod that reach up to 220 pounds due to having a rich food supply.
5. They have three dorsal fins, two anal fins and one pair of pectoral fins. They have an almost beard like barbel on their chin that acts like a sensory organ for finding food.
6. The back side of their body is greenish brown in color which the lateral side is lighter. Their belly is almost always white.
7. They have a white lateral line that stretches from the gill slit to the base of their tail. This line detects motion, vibration and pressure changes in the water.
8. They’re carnivores, which means that they eat meat. Their normal diet includes other cod, sand eels, mackerels, haddock, mollusks, squids and crabs.
9. Humans are pretty much the only predator that cod’s have to worry about.
10. Humans have hunted cod because of their meat and oil. Their live is a very good source of oil that contains vitamine E, A, D and omega-3 fatty acids.
11. They’re slow swimmers, which is why they live in large groups called “schools.” This helps them avoid some predators, like sharks.
12. Cods will travel up to 200 miles to reach their breeding ground during mating season.
13. Mating season is usually from January to April at depths of 660 feet.
14. Male cod will display their fins as part of courtship and new couples will swim together during the spawning.
15. Female cod lay up to 5 million eggs. While most eggs will undoubtedly be eaten by other fish and various sea creatures, the remaining eggs will hatch after 8 to 23 days.
16. The larvae are transparent and are only 0.16 inches long. Their size will ultimately increase 40 times after 10 weeks.
17. The small larvae offspring will eat zooplankton until they become larger, which is when they’ll start eating small crustaceans. When they’re about 3 to 4 years old, they’ll become sexually mature.
18. You can tell how old a cod is by the number of rings that are visible on the structure called “otolith,” which is located in their skull.
19. The average lifespan of cods are around 25 years, but it depends on the species.
20. The Atlantic cod is referred to as the “sacred” cod because, according to New England folklore, the cod was the first fish that Jesus multiplied to feed the crowds of people.
21. In 1838, a 180 cod was caught off George’s Banks and in 1895, a 6 foot cod that weighed 211 pounds was caught off the coast of Massachusetts.
22. Most first American coins issues from 1776 to 1778 had a cod on them.
23. Aristocratic men in the 18th and 19th century use to decorate their estates with insignias of the cod.
24. In the early days of cod fishing in the New World, more cod was eaten in Europe than in New England.
25. Cod produce a similar protein to antifreeze, that’s why they’re able to survive in freezing temperatures. One a cod is pulled out of the waters, its meat will instantly crystallize because the fish isn’t producing the proteins anymore.
26. Cods won’t fight much in recreational fishing, which is why many fishermen go after them.