Like its Atlantic cousin, Pacific cod is a mild and versatile fish. But, the Pacific species is also an ocean-friendly seafood choice. Pacific cod tastes almost identical to Atlantic cod, but with a softer and more delicate texture. Try Pacific cod poached in hard cider, or sautéed with lemon caper white wine sauce. Try Pacific cod poached in hard cider and Pacific cod with bacon, capers and olives.

Also known as:

Pacific cod, Alaska cod, grey cod, P-cod, true cod

Availability:

Year-round

Product forms:

Fresh and frozen, fillets, steaks, whole fish and headed and gutted

Shopping tips:

Look for whiter fillets, which will be fresher than greyer fillets.

Substitutions:

Use Pacific cod in any recipe that calls for Atlantic cod, or other types of whitefish.

Recipes:

Wild-caught Pacific cod with lemon caper white wine sauce

Hard cider-poached wild-caught Pacific cod

Pacific cod with bacon, capers and olives

Pacific cod fishery: Pacific cod are mostly fished with bottom longlines or bottom trawls, but some are harvested with fish pots or jig gear. More.

Conservation notes:

Line or pot-caught Pacific cod is considered an ocean-friendly seafood choice because the populations are well-managed and the fishing gear used is environmentally friendly. More.
Last updated: May 2009

 

Pacific Cod Fishery

Line caught Pacific cod is fished using bottom longlines which consist of a long central line that has smaller fishing lines with baited hooks spaced along its length. The lines are fished on or near the ocean floor and have minimal impact on ocean floor habitats, particularly when compared to bottom trawling. Although seabird bycatch can be an issue in the longline fishery, measures and regulations are in place in order to mitigate this problem. Pot or trap caught Pacific cod is fished using large baited traps which also have minimal habitat impacts. Bycatch is also greatly reduced in the pot fishery when compared to bottom trawling.

In the United States, Pacific cod is managed by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under the Fishery Management Plan for the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Groundfish, and the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska. Pacific cod management relies on limited entry, quotas, seasonal and area closures, mandatory observers, reporting requirements and gear restrictions.

 

Conservation Notes

Many types of commercial fishing gear can cause significant habitat destruction, or may catch large numbers of unwanted fishes and other animals. In general, fish caught using bottom longline gear and pots are a better choice because these types of fishing gear do not cause substantial habitat destruction, and are not associated with significant amounts of bycatch.


Pacific cod stocks are neither overfished nor approaching an overfished condition. Data from a variety of sources (commercial landings, scientific research surveys, etc.) is compiled in order to establish proper fishing quotas. Pacific cod is carefully managed throughout the fishing season in order to ensure fishing quotas are adhered to. Careful management measures limit landings, which has helped keep populations healthy, despite fluctuations in overall abundance.