Atlantic Cod

  Cold and temperate sea fish

Atlantic Cod Gadus morhua

Identity card

Atlantic Cod

Scientific name:
Gadus morhua
Year of description:
Linnaeus, 1758
IUCN Status:

Non évalué


North Atlantic waters


Down to a depth of 600 metres.


Atlantic cod measure between 50 and 90 cm on average, but can grow to 1.80 metres.


Fish, crustaceans or even molluscs.


25 years

atlantic cod Gadus morhua

The male emits sounds that stimulate the female at breeding time.

A male reaches sexual maturity when it has grown to a length of 53 cm, whereas a female reaches sexual maturity when it has grown to 59 cm. Breeding takes place from February to April in the North Sea. The female can release a portion of her eggs and keep the rest: this helps her to save energy.

did you know?

At Nausicaá, the Atlantic cod can be seen in the Voyages in the Northern Seas area of the Mankind and Shores tour. In the touch tank, the Atlantic cod are right at your fingertips, a unique experience!

Where is the animal to be found?

Atlantic cod generally live from the coast down to a depth of 600 metres, with a substantial concentration at depths of 150 to 200 metres. It can be found in North Atlantic waters from Greenland, Spitzbergen and Norway down to the Bay of Biscay where it is rare.

How can it be recognised?

The Atlantic cod is found on sandy or rocky seabeds. It can be recognised by its barbel. It measures between 50 and 90 cm on average, but can grow to 1.80 metres.

It is marketed under the generic name of cod.

What is distinctive about it?

The Atlantic cod is opportunistic and voracious, feeding on anything it can catch: fish, crustaceans, brittle stars, annelids and molluscs. Juveniles feed on copepod larvae and fish eggs, then on copepods and crustacean larvae.

Threat and protective measure

By the end of the 20th century, cod had become so scarce that in 1995, a moratorium came into force to stop it from becoming extinct. Today, fishing for this species, classified as globally vulnerable by the IUCN but of minor concern in Europe, is still regulated. 30 years after the moratorium, in Newfoundland, the stocks still appear to be fragile. In Europe, it is regulated by quotas that vary according to the fishing area.

Where can I find it at Nausicaá?

mankind and shores

atlantic cod gadus morhua

Cold and temperate sea fish

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