Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cod (Gadus morrhua), a well-known and valuable food-fish, type of the genus Gadus, from the Arctic and north temperate zones, containing eighteen species, having the body moderately elongated and covered with small scales; they have three dorsals, a separate caudal and two anal fins, and the ventrals, composed of at least six rays, are narrow; there are teeth on the upper jaw and vomer, but none on the palatine bones. To this genus also belong the bib, coal-fish, haddock, pollack, tom-cod, and whiting (all which see). The name is often extended to the whole anacanthinous family Gadidae, in which the burbot, hake, ling, and torsk, also important food-fish, are comprised. The common cod-fish is from 2 feet to 4 feet in length, and sometimes attains a weight of 100 pounds, but specimens of from 60 to 70 pounds, with a length of about 3 feet, are much more common. Fish from the British coasts and North Sea are olive-brown above, with yellowish spots, and whitish beneath, and with dusky fins; farther north the hue becomes darker, and in fish from the Arctic coasts there is generally a dark blotch on the side. They are very voracious, and feed on worms, crustaceans, and small fishes. They are exceedingly prolific, and spawn in January round the British coasts, but much later on those of America. Cod-fishing has been systematically carried on for some three centuries on the banks of Newfoundland, and most of the preserved cod is of American production. The Dogger Bank is also a well-known fishing ground, and the cod-fishing industry is an important one on British coasts and on those of Iceland, Sweden, and Norway. The smoked roe and the sound, when salted, are esteemed as delicacies; the latter dried is sometimes used as a substitute for isinglass.