Known as Norway's white gold, cod is one of the most common and economically important of Norway's saltwater fish. It's found in the North Atlantic and generally lives up to age 40. There are two main types of cod: migratory oceanic cod and stationary coastal cod. Coastal cod is a typical demersal (bottom-dwelling) fish while migratory cod is pelagic (stays near the surface). Cod lives on capelin, herring and sprats, but also eats its own young.
Of all cod varieties, the Norwegian Arctic cod (Skrei) is the most important to Norway. It spends most of its life in the Barents Sea, but migrates both when immature and when sexually mature.
Norwegian Arctic cod becomes sexually mature at 2 to 6 years of age. Its spawning areas extend from Finnmark to Stad, but the most important fields are off Lofoten. The spawning migration of the Norwegian Arctic cod continues to form the basis of our most important seasonal fishing—Lofotfisket. Young cod in the Barents Sea migrate towards the Fi nnmark coast in spring, after reaching sexual maturity. At that time, it is known as young cod and forms the basis for traditional spring cod fishing. Coastal cod is similar to Barents Sea cod, but is more stationary in shallow waters. It appears from the shore all the way down to depths of nearly 1,900 feet.
ICES classifies Northeast Arctic cod stock as having full reproductive capacity, deeming it harvested sustainably.
Norway's fisheries for cod have been certified as sustainable by the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) and KRAV.
The cod stocks in the Barents Sea are the largest cod stocks in the world.
Cod is a lean fish and especially rich in:
- Protein that builds and maintains every cell in the body
- Vitamin D, which is necessary to get the right balance of calcium in the body to maintain and strengthen the bones
- Vitamin B12, which is important for the body to produce new cells, including red blood cells. Vitamin B12 can contribute to preventing anemia
- Selenium, an important element in an enzyme that fights harmful chemical processes in the body
More nutritional data can be found at www.nifes.no/en/prosjekt/seafood-data