Pollachius pollachius (Linnaeus, 1758)
Pollack
photo by Ueberschär, B.

Family:  Gadidae (Cods and haddocks)
Max. size:  130 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 18 kg; max. reported age: 8 years
Environment:  benthopelagic; depth range 40 - 200 m, oceanodromous
Distribution:  Northeast Atlantic: Iceland, the Faeroes and Norway to the Bay of Biscay (Ref. 1371); also southern Baltic Sea (Ref. 89342) with records from Poland, Latvia and Estonia (Refs. 36252, 52079).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 29-33; Anal soft rays: 27-30; Vertebrae: 52-55. Lower jaw distinctly projecting beyond upper ones. Lacks a chin barbel. Dark lateral line that sharply curves over the pectoral fin and continues over whole body. No dark spot at pectoral fin base. Dorsal and anal fin interspaces short. Sensory canals with large pores on head. Body color is variable; dark dorsally, sharply distinguished from silver-gray sides and belly; the upper part of the body with yellow to orange streaks or blotches; the lateral line greenish. The fins uniformly dark except for the pelvic fins which are yellowish.
Biology:  Found in inshore waters but also down to 200 m depth, in areas with hard bottoms. Juveniles are pelagic, spending 2-3 years near the coast including rocky areas, kelp beds, sandy shores and estuaries (Ref. 1371, 58137, 89343, 89362). Juveniles may form schools with saithe (Pollachius virens) (Ref. 88187), and have also been found solitary and defending their feeding territory (Refs. 42174, 89363). Larger individuals move to the open sea and are often found around rocky areas at 40-100 m depth (Ref. 1371). Also observed around shipwrecks and oil platforms (Ref. 88187). Adults occur singly or in small dispersed shoals but is known to form dense shoals on spawning grounds (Ref. 89364). Suggested to undertake spawning migrations (Ref. 88171). Caught as bycatch in cod and saithe fisheries. Flesh is dry but of good flavor (Ref. 35388). Classified as a "hearing generalist" (89365); has also been found to produce sound. Juveniles have been reported to make repeated short grunts during competitive feeding and aggressive encounters (89366).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 16 October 2013 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.10.90
Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 15.10.16
Checked by: Froese, Rainer - 16.12.96

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