Atlantic Ocean

Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua), also known as Cod, Codling, Scrod Cod, Markets, Steakers; weight – up to 35 kg (77 lb); length – up to 1.3 m (51 in); lifespan – more than 20 years. Historically, cod was so abundant off New England that early explorers named Cape Cod for the fish. Furthermore, Gloucester was established by a colonial charter issued to profit from cod fishing, and a painted “sacred cod” carved from pine has hung in the Massachusetts state house since 1784 as a symbol of prosperity. Atlantic Cod coloring varies, ranging from light yellowish-green to red and olive, usually with darker speckles on the head, fins, tail, and body. The belly is light colored and usually spotless. Individuals can change color readily. They are top predators in the bottom ocean community, feeding on a variety of invertebrates and fish. Image courtesy of NOAA.