Pacific Cod Research
Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus), also known as
grey cod, are moderately fast growing and relatively short-lived fish,
with a maximum age of approximately 18 years.Females reach 50% maturity at 4.4 years in the Gulf of Alaska and 4.9 years in the eastern Bering Sea (Stark, 2007). Total body length at 50% maturity was significantly smaller (503 mm) in the Gulf of Alaska than in the eastern Bering Sea (580 mm). Similarly, Pacific cod females grow significantly faster in the Bering Sea than in the Gulf of Alaska. Males reach a smaller maximum length in the Gulf of Alaska than females; in contrast, Bering Sea males reach a similar maximum length as females. Pacific cod are highly fecund and can produce up to 5.7 million ova each year.
Cod are demersal and
concentrate on the shelf edge and upper slope
(100-250 m) in the winter and move to
shallower waters (<100 m) in the summer. Cod prey on clams, worms, crabs, shrimp,
and juvenile fish. In turn, they are eaten by halibut and marine
mammals. Pacific cod are taken with trawl, longline, pot,
and jig gear. Cod begin to recruit to trawl fisheries at age 3, but are
not fully recruited to all gear types until about age 7.
Pacific cod are managed under two Fishery Management Plans: one for the Bering
Sea/Aleutian Islands region and the other for the Gulf of Alaska region.
The Fishery Management Plans control the fishery through permits and
limited entry, catch quotas, gear restrictions, closed waters, seasons, bycatch limits and rates, and other measures.
During 2011, pollock made up 62% of the total groundfish catch off Alaska. The pollock catch for 2011 was 1,282,780 metric tons (t), up approximately 44% from 2010.
The 2011 catch of flatfish, which includes yellowfin sole, rock sole and arrowtooth flounder, was 327,310 t or 15.8% of the total 2011 Alaska groundfish catch, up about 12% from 2010.
Pacific cod accounted for 304,950 t or 14.7% of the total 2011 Alaska groundfish catch. The Pacific cod catch was up about 22% from a year earlier.
Other important species (% of total 2011 catch and % change from 2010) are: Atka mackerel 53,430 t (2.6%, down 25%),
sablefish 12,870 t (0.6%, up 8%), and rockfish 51,120 t (2.5%, up 5%).
- NICHOL, D. G., S. KOTWICKI, and M. ZIMMERMANN.
2013. Diel vertical migration of adult Pacific cod Gadus macrocephalus in Alaska. J. Fish Biol. 83:170-189.
- SPIES, I.
2012. Landscape genetics reveals population subdivision in Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pacific cod. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 141:1557-1573.
- WEST, C. F., S. WISCHNIOWSKI, and C. JOHNSTON.
2012. Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) as a paleothermometer: Otolith oxygen isotope reconstruction. J. Archaeol. Sci. 39:3277-3283.
- URBAN, D.
2012. Food habits of Pacific cod and walleye pollock in the northern Gulf of Alaska. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 469:215-222.
- LAUREL, B. J., L. A. COPEMAN, and C. C. PARRISH.
2012. Role of temperature on lipid/fatty acid composition in Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) eggs and unfed larvae. Mar. Biol. 159:2025-2034.
- LAUREL, B. J., T. P. HURST, and L. CIANNELLI.
2011. An experimental examination of temperature interactions in the match–mismatch hypothesis for Pacific cod larvae. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 68:51-61.
- Building Early Ontogeny Pelagic Exposure Profiles for GOA-IERP Species Based on Historical Ichthyoplankton Data - Pacific Cod (2013 version)
By: Miriam Doyle
Conference: GOA IERP Principal Investigator Meeting, Seattle, WA, Mar 2013
(2013 poster, .pdf, 2.13 MB) Online.
- Energetic Status, Diet, and Size of Age-0 Pacific Cod During Warm and Cold Climate States in the Eastern Bering Sea
By: ED FARLEY, RON HEINTZ, ALEX ANDREWS, TOM HURST
Conference: Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2013
(2013 poster, .pdf, 1.1 MB) Online.
Otolith Microchemical Fingerprinting: Assessing Juvenile Pacific Cod Habitat Utilization in the Gulf of Alaska
Preliminary Age Validation of Pacific Cod Using Stable Oxygen Isotope (d18O) Signatures in Otoliths
The Effects of Climate Regimes on the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pacific Cod Longline Fishery
- Additional publications, posters, and reports.