Boreogadus saida

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Boreogadus saida, known as the polar cod[1][2][3] or as the Arctic cod,[1][4][5] is a fish of the cod family Gadidae, related to the true cod (genus Gadus). Another fish species for which both the common names Arctic cod and polar cod are used is Arctogadus glacialis.

Boreogadus saida
Boreogadus saida.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Gadiformes
Family: Gadidae
Genus: Boreogadus
Günther, 1862
B. saida
Binomial name
Boreogadus saida
(Lepechin, 1774)
  • Gadus saida Lepechin, 1774
  • Merlangus polaris Sabine, 1824
  • Boreogadus polaris (Sabine, 1824)
  • Pollachius polaris (Sabine, 1824)
  • Gadus fabricii Richardson, 1836
  • Gadus agilis Reinhardt, 1837
Detail size Polar cod.JPG

B. saida has a slender body, a deeply forked tail, a projecting mouth, and a small whisker on its chin. It is plainly coloured with brownish spots and a silvery body. It grows to a length of 40 cm (16 in). This species is found further north than any other fish[6] (beyond 84°N) with a distribution spanning the Arctic seas off northern Russia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.

This fish is most commonly found at the water's surface, but is also known to travel at depths greater than 900 metres (3,000 ft). The polar cod is known to frequent river mouths. It is a hardy fish that survives best at temperatures of 0–4 °C (32–39 °F), but may tolerate colder temperatures owing to the presence of antifreeze protein compounds in its blood. They group in large schools in ice-free waters.

B. saida feeds on plankton and krill. It is in turn the primary food source for narwhals, belugas, ringed seals, and seabirds. They are fished commercially in Russia.

Although " B. saida " is a fish that is very populous throughout the Aric oceans, it still can be a victim to population threats through human actions. Global warming has increased steadily over the past years, and it even has caused an increase in ocean temperatures of the Artic Ocean. Boreogadus saida live in extremely cold water temperatures, and therefore they have adapted to the cold. Their larvae must be in 3°C to hatch normally, and a rise in ocean temperatures can easily lead to phenotypic changes of this cod species. Possible alterations of the species due to increasing ocean temperatures include, smaller size, reduced fecundity, earlier maturation, and increased investment in reproduction at an early age for some.


  1. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Boreogadus saida" in FishBase. April 2012 version.
  2. ^ Gadiform fishes of the World (Order Gadiformes) An annotated and illustrated catalogue of Cods, Hakes, Grenadiers and other gadiform fishes known to date.[permanent dead link] FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125, Volume 10. 1990.
  3. ^ Polar cod Institute of Marine Research, Norway
  4. ^ Arctic Cod: Boreogadus saida Arctic Ocean Diversity. Census of Marine Life.
  5. ^ Arctic Cod Archived November 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Aquatic species. Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
  6. ^ Christiansen JS (2012): TUNU Programme: Euro-Arctic marine fishes - Adaptation and evolution. pp 35-50. In: Adaptation and Evolution in Marine Environments, Vol. 1: The Impacts of Global Change on Biodiversity. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg.

Pepijn De Vries, Jacqueline Tamis, Jasmine Nahrgang, Marianne Frantzen, Robbert Jak, Martine Van Den Heuvel‐Greve, Chris Klok, Lia Hemerik (2021). Quantifying the consequence of applying conservative assumptions in the assessment of oil spill effects on polar cod (Boreogadus saida) populations.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Boreogadus saida at Wikimedia Commons