Visit Fishonline for the full range of options available for this species.
Choose cod caught by longline from the Norwegian MSC certified fishery look for the Blue Tick logo on the packaging - in the NE Arctic. Iceland and the Eastern Baltic can also supply good options for Atlantic cod, depending on capture method. Choose the green rated options to be sure. The fish is brown to green with spots on the dorsal (upper) side with a distinctive lateral line, and a small ??bib' or barbel under its chin which is used to look for food. 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. Cod produce millions of eggs in winter and spring in February to April. Avoid eating during the breeding season, and check the source of your fish to help conserve stocks.
With the exception of cod from the northeast Arctic, Iceland and Baltic East, all other cod stocks in the northeast Atlantic are overfished, inefficiently managed or at an unknown level and ICES recommend fishery closures in some of these areas until stocks recover to safe levels. The most depleted stocks are the Faroes, Rockall, Irish Sea, North Sea, Skagerrak,Kattegat, Eastern Channel, Norweigan coast, Greenland 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.)
Visit Fishonline, the website for the seafood industry, for more detailed information about this species.
Marine Conservation Society
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MCS is a member of Oceans 2012, a coalition dedicated to ensuring that the 2012 reform of the Common Fisheries Policy stops overfishing, ends distructive fishing practices and delivers fair and equitable use of healthy fish stocks