Teleostei (teleosts) > Gadiformes
(Cods) > Merlucciidae
Etymology: Merluccius: Latin, mar, maris = the sea + Latin, lucius = pike (Ref. 45335).
More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; demersal; depth range 30 - 1075 m (Ref. 58452), usually 70 - 400 m (Ref. 35388). Temperate; 76°N - 18°N, 30°W - 42°E (Ref. 58452)
Eastern Atlantic: Norway and Iceland, southward to Mauritania. Also in the Mediterranean Sea and along the southern coast of the Black Sea.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 42.3, range 20 - 70 cm
Max length : 140 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1371); common length : 45.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1371); max. published weight: 15.0 kg (Ref. 1371); max. reported age: 20 years (Ref. 35388)
soft rays: 36 - 40. Inside of mouth and branchial cavity black. Second dorsal and anal fins notched. First vertebra and neural spine attached to skull. Vertebrae 50-52.
Found usually between 70 and 370 m depth. Adults live close to the bottom during day-time, but move off-bottom at night. Adults feed mainly on fish (small hakes, anchovies, pilchard, herrings, cod fishes, sardines and gadoid species) and squids. The young feed on crustaceans (especially euphausiids and amphipods). Are batch spawners (Ref. 51846). Almost entirely marketed fresh, whole or filleted, to specialized restaurants or retail markets (Ref. 58452). Utilized fresh, dried or salted and frozen; can be steamed, fried, microwaved and baked (Ref. 9988). Stocks seem to be over-fished (Ref. 35388).
Continuous recruitment of oocytes connotes indeterminate fecundity for this species (Ref. 79799).
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. 126983)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: highly commercial