Norway has the largest cod stock in the world, and cod is one of the most common and economically important species for Norwegian fisheries.
Cod is characterized by its long body, large head and distinctive chin barbelbarbell; – a kind of beard used to search for food. It is a groundfish that lives in or near the seabed, although larger cod also live in open waters.
In Norway there are two main types of cod: the stationary coastal cod that lives at the bottom of the sea in shallow waters along the coast, and the migratory northeast Arctic cod that matures in the Barents Sea and appears at the Norwegian coast to spawn – this is the type the locals call Skrei. Over 90% of the Norwegian catch comes from the northeast Arctic cod stock, which grows up in the cold, clear waters of the Barents Sea. The cod can live for up to 40 years.
Cod fishing takes place all year around, but peaks from January to April when the cod is spawning. The main area for the cod to spawn is in Lofoten and Vesterålen. It is caught using various methods including bottom trawl, Danish seine, long line, gill net, fish pots and hand line. Cod is mainly wild catch, but it is also farmed on a small scale.
Sold fresh and frozen in slices, fillets or as whole fish. It is also sold salted or dried.
Fish and crustaceans
Cod is a lean fish and especially rich in:
- Protein that builds and maintains every cell in the body.
- Vitamin D, necessary to balance calcium in the body, which maintains and strengthens the bones.
- Vitamin B12, which is important for the body to produce new cells, including red blood cells. Vitamin B12 can contribute to preventing anaemia.
- Selenium, an important element in an enzyme that fights harmful chemical processes in the body.
More nutritional data can be found at NIFES (link www.nifes.no/en/prosjekt/seafood-data)