Eleginus gracilis, Saffron cod : fisheries

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Eleginus gracilis (Tilesius, 1810)

Saffron cod
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Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2050
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Eleginus gracilis   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Eleginus gracilis (Saffron cod)
Eleginus gracilis
Picture by Orlov, A.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes(genus, species) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Teleostei (teleosts) > Gadiformes (Cods) > Gadidae (Cods and haddocks)
Etymology: Eleginus: Greek, eleginos, -ou = a fish of the Nile (Ref. 45335).

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; amphidromous; depth range 0 - 300 m (Ref. 50550). Polar; 75°N - 30°N, 124°E - 123°W (Ref. 54430)

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Arctic to North Pacific: Chemulpo in North Korea (Yellow Sea) in the southwest to Sitka, Alaska in the southeast. Beyond the Bering Strait from Cape Lisburne in Chukchi Sea and east to Dease Strait (south coast of Victoria Island). Precise delimitation of the range depends on additional taxonomic study.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 30.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 55.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1371); max. published weight: 1.3 kg (Ref. 56527); max. reported age: 15 years (Ref. 56527)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 44-59; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 39 - 47; Vertebrae: 57 - 64. Distinguished by the presence of 3 dorsal and 2 anal fins, a lower jaw that is shorter than the upper, a chin barbel that is no longer than half the eye diameter, and a space between the second and third dorsal fins that is equal to or longer than the eye diameter (Ref. 27547). Lateral line curved in front, ending under the second dorsal fin (Ref. 27547); head with no lateral line pores (Ref. 1371). Expanded parapophyses swollen and hollow, beginning on about the vertebral centrum 9 or 10, containing outpouchings of the swim bladder (Ref. 1371). Second pelvic ray produced; caudal truncate or slightly emarginate (Ref. 27547). Grayish brown above, upper part of sides paler, sometimes with a silvery-violet shading, often mottled with indistinct darker blotches; lower sides and belly yellowish to silver white; fins dusky, dorsal and caudal with white edges (Ref. 27547).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occurs in shallow coastal waters (Ref. 1371). Enters rivers and may go considerable distances upstream, but usually remaining within regions of tidal influence (Ref. 1371, 27547). Adults exhibit seasonal movements: inshore during winter for purposes of spawning and offshore during summer for feeding (Ref. 1371). Juveniles and adults are opportunistic epibenthic feeders; juveniles feed on fish and small benthic crustaceans (Ref. 1371). Taxonomic problems to be solved.

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Spawns 5-7 times in its life, or even 9-10 times for those living 10-14 years. Fecundity varies with geographical region. It decreases from east to west in the European Arctic and from south to north in western Pacific waters. Throughout its distribution area, spawning occurs during January-February in coastal zones of bays and inlets on sand-gravel substrate and in strong tidal currents.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Cohen, D.M., T. Inada, T. Iwamoto and N. Scialabba, 1990. FAO species catalogue. Vol. 10. Gadiform fishes of the world (Order Gadiformes). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cods, hakes, grenadiers and other gadiform fishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(10). Rome: FAO. 442 p. (Ref. 1371)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 130435)


Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: highly commercial
FAO - Fisheries: landings, species profile; Publication: search | FishSource | Sea Around Us

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Aquaculture profile
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


Special reports

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Internet sources

AFORO (otoliths) | Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes: genus, species | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | FAO - Fisheries: landings, species profile; Publication: search | Faunafri | Fishipedia | Fishtrace | GenBank: genome, nucleotide | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | OceanAdapt | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Socotra Atlas | Tree of Life | Wikipedia: Go, Search | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201): -1.5 - 5.9, mean 0.9 °C (based on 952 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804):  PD50 = 0.7500   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00617 (0.00539 - 0.00705), b=3.08 (3.04 - 3.12), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  4.1   ±0.6 se; based on diet studies.
Generation time: 5.5 (4.4 - 6.9) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 25 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=2-3; Fec=4,900).
Prior r = 0.57, 95% CL = 0.37 - 0.85, Based on 1 stock assessment.
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (47 of 100).
Climate Vulnerability (Ref. 125649):  Moderate to high vulnerability (47 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766):   High.
Nutrients (Ref. 124155):  Calcium = 22.8 [12.2, 62.4] mg/100g; Iron = 0.45 [0.22, 0.95] mg/100g; Protein = 17.5 [16.0, 19.0] %; Omega3 = 0.377 [0.185, 0.804] g/100g; Selenium = 13.8 [5.4, 30.4] μg/100g; VitaminA = 15.6 [2.9, 81.7] μg/100g; Zinc = 0.411 [0.263, 0.636] mg/100g (wet weight);