Greenland cod

The Greenland cod (Gadus ogac), commonly known also as ogac, is a species of ray-finned fish in the cod family, Gadidae. Genetic analysis has shown that it may be the same species as the Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus). It is a bottom-dwelling fish and is found on the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean and northwestern Atlantic Ocean, its range extending from Alaska to West Greenland, then southwards along the Canadian coast to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Cape Breton Island. It is a commercially harvested food fish,[1][2] but landings have been greatly reduced in recent years.

Greenland cod
Voyages de la Commission scientifique du Nord, en Scandinavie, en Laponie, au Spitzberg et aux Feröe - no-nb digibok 2009040611001-99.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Gadiformes
Family: Gadidae
Genus: Gadus
G. ogac
Binomial name
Gadus ogac


Molecular genetic analyses strongly suggest that Greenland cod is not different from Pacific cod, Gadus macrocephalus - Gadus ogac is then a junior synonym of G. macrocephalus.[3] Nevertheless, ITIS still lists Gadus ogac as a valid name.[4]


In colour the Greenland cod is generally sombre, ranging from tan to brown to silvery. Its appearance is similar to that of other cod species; generally heavy-bodied, elongate, usually with a stout caudal peduncle.[2] They can grow to a length of 77 cm.[1]

They are bottom fishes inhabiting inshore waters and continental shelves, up to depths of 200 m. Their range covers the Arctic Ocean and Northwest Atlantic Ocean from Alaska to West Greenland, then south along the Canadian coast to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Cape Breton Island generally from 45 to 75 degrees north.[2]

Their wholesome flesh is whitish and flaky but firmer and tougher and less desirable than that of the Atlantic cod.[citation needed] The stock of Greenland cod has been strongly reduced in recent years.[2]


Global capture of Greenland cod in tonnes reported by the FAO, 1950–2010[2]


  1. ^ a b Froese, Rainer; Pauly, Daniel (eds.) (2005). "Gadus ogac" in FishBase. October 2005 version.
  2. ^ a b c d e Gadus ogac (Richardson, 1836) FAO, Species Fact Sheet. Retrieved April 2012.
  3. ^ Carr, S. M.; Kivlichan, D. S.; Pepin, P.; Crutcher, D. C. (1999). "Molecular systematics of gadid fishes: Implications for the biogeographic origins of Pacific species". Canadian Journal of Zoology. 77: 19–26. doi:10.1139/z98-194.
  4. ^ "Gadus ogac". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 24 September 2012.

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