Micromesistius poutassou (Risso, 1827)
Blue whiting
photo by Svensen, R.

Family:  Gadidae (Cods and haddocks)
Max. size:  55.5 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 830.0 g; max. reported age: 20 years
Environment:  bathypelagic; marine; depth range 150 - 3000 m, oceanodromous
Distribution:  Northeast Atlantic: Barents Sea south through the eastern Norwegian Sea, around Iceland, then in the western Mediterranean, and south along the African coast to Cape Bojador. Northwest Atlantic: southern Greenland and off southeast Canada and the northeastern coast of the USA.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 24-28; Anal soft rays: 33-39. Dorsal fins widely spaced, interspace between second and third fins longer than base length of first dorsal fin. Lateral line continuous over whole body. Color is blue-gray dorsally, grading to white ventrally. Sometimes with a small black blotch at the base of the pectoral fin.
Biology:  Found over the continental slope and shelf to more than 1000 m, but more common at 300-400 m. Feeds mostly on small crustaceans but large individuals also prey on small fish and cephalopods. Makes daily vertical migrations: surface waters at night and near the bottom during the day. Sold fresh and frozen, and also processed as oil and fishmeal (Ref. 1371).
IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (N.E.) Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  harmless

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