Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Cod, Atlantic

© Monterey Bay Aquarium
SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Cod Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Cod Marine Stewardship Council Certified Wild
Cod, Atlantic Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Scrod, Whitefish Iceland, Northeast Arctic (by Norway, Russia) Handline
Cod, Atlantic Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Scrod, Whitefish Iceland, Northeast Arctic (by Norway, Russia) Bottom Gillnet, Bottom Longline, Bottom Trawl, Danish Seine
Cod, Atlantic Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Scrod, Whitefish Canadian Atlantic Bottom Trawl
Cod, Atlantic Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Scrod, Whitefish U.S. Georges Bank Handline
Cod, Atlantic Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Scrod, Whitefish U.S. Georges Bank Gillnet, Longline and Trawl
Cod, Atlantic Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Scrod, Whitefish U.S. Gulf of Maine Wild
Cod, Atlantic Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Scrod, Whitefish Canadian Georges Bank Wild
Cod, Atlantic Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Scrod, Whitefish Canada (excluding Georges Bank) Handline
Cod, Pacific Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Alaska, Gray & True Cod U.S. Trawl
Cod, Pacific Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Alaska, Gray & True Cod U.S. Bottom Longline, Handline, Trap
Cod, Pacific Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Alaska, Gray & True Cod Russian and Japanese Pacific Wild
Whiting Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Cod Marine Stewardship Council Certified Wild


Atlantic Cod, Iceland & Northeast Arctic (by Norway, Russia)

Most Atlantic cod in the U.S. is imported from Iceland and the northeast Arctic. Atlantic cod fisheries in these regions are well-managed and populations are increasing. The small portion of the fishery that uses handline gear is a "Best Choice" thanks to the low levels of bycatch and habitat damage.

A portion of this fishery is certified as sustainable to the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Summary

Atlantic cod is a deep-water fish, living at 1,300 feet or more on both sides of the Atlantic. Cod is one of several groundfish species, meaning that they live on the seafloor.

For centuries, North Atlantic cod was one of the world's largest and most reliable fisheries. However, decades of overfishing have resulted in dramatic population declines. Although many cod stocks in the Atlantic are severely depleted and still experience overfishing, cod in Iceland and the northeast Arctic are more abundant and are being fished sustainably.

Fishermen often catch cod with bottom trawl gear, which involves dragging large nets across the seafloor. Trawling damages marine habitats and produces bycatch. However, a portion of the Icelandic and northeast Arctic fisheries uses handline gear, which results in low levels of bycatch and habitat damage.

Imported handline-caught cod is a "Best Choice," while imported cod caught using other methods is a "Good Alternative."


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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat