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Atlantic Pollock

Updated on November 1, 2014

Atlantic Pollock

The Atlantic pollock is related to the cod and haddock. It differs in appearance from others in the cod family by having a pointed snout and a projecting lower jaw, a more rounded body, and a forked rather than a square tail.

Pollock are olive green above, paling on the lower sides to a yellow-gray, and finally to silver gray on the belly. Its lateral line is white, and it has a small barbel on its chin.

Pollock are medium- to large fish that average 4-15 pounds and 2-3 feet long. Pollock reach weights to 40 pounds.

Atlantic Pollock can be poached, baked, broiled, grilled, served as fish and chips or fish chowder.

Pollock Information

Atlantic pollock are known commercially as Boston bluefish, merlan, colin, saithe, and coalfish (particularly in the United Kingdom).

Pollock occur on both sides of the North Atlantic; in the Northwest Atlantic, the species is most abundant on the western Scotian Shelf and in the Gulf of Maine.

Atlantic pollock is a lean fish with somewhat darker flesh than cod. It is sold fresh (whole, steaks, fillets); and frozen (whole, steaks, fillets, IQF and blocks). Pollock is frequently salted and cured for export.

Scrod refers to a size, not a species of fish. The term originated in New England to describe the catch of the day. It is a fish under 2 1/2 pounds that is either cod, haddock, or pollock. Fish may be listed as "scrod cod," "scrod haddock," or "scrod pollock."

The light flaky flesh can be substituted for cod, haddock similar whitefish in recipes. Pollock can be poached, baked, broiled, grilled or put into fish chowders. Atlantic pollock makes good fish and chips. Because it has about a third more fat than cod, it's more forgiving and flavorful.

Commercial Fishing for Atlantic Pollock - United States and Canada

Atlantic pollock are commercially caught with bottom trawls and gillnets.

The U.S. portion of the Atlantic pollock fishery is managed under the New England Fishery Management Council's Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP).


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