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Cod belongs to a family of fish known as gadoids, which includes species such as haddock, pollack, pouting and ling. It is brown to green in colour with spots on the dorsal or upper side. Cod has a distinctive lateral line, and a small barbel under its chin which it uses to look for food.They have a common length of around 100 cm. Maximum length 200 cm. 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. The legal Minimum Landing Size (MLS) is however 35cm. Cod spawn in winter and spring in February and April when they produce millions of eggs. When cooked cod has white, flaky flesh. The most popular cuts are steaks and fillets which can be poached, grilled or baked. It's easy and quick to cook and is traditionally served with parsley sauce and lemon wedges and of course, chips. Cod roe and milt or sperm is also eaten.
With the exception of cod from the northeast Arctic, Iceland, Baltic and Celtic Sea, all other cod stocks in the northeast Atlantic are overfished, inefficiently managed or at an unknown level. The most depleted stocks are the Faroes, Rockall, Irish Sea, North Sea, Skagerrak,Kattegat, Eastern Channel, Norweigan coast, Greenland (offshore component) and west of Scotland. The Norwegian NE Arctic offshore cod fishery and the Barents Sea demersal trawl cod fishery within Norwegian and Russian EEZ and in international waters are certified as sustainable fisheries by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The longline, handline and Danish seine fishery for
cod in Iceland's EEZ was certified to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard as an environmentally responsible fishery in June 2011. Danish and Swedish fisheries in the Eastern Baltic were certified to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard as environmentally responsible fisheries in April and June 2011 respectively. Avoid eating cod from stocks which are depleted and where fishing is at unsustainable levels. To help reduce the impact of fishing on fish stocks where fishing mortality is too high, the marine environment, and other marine species, choose line-caught cod where available. Longlining can result in seabird bycatch so ask for fish caught using 'seabird-friendly' methods. See Fishing Methods for details.
(Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 3 and below are included.)
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