the newly created Commonwealth of Massachusetts erected its first
state house in 1784, the founders hung a golden codfish (Gaddus
morhua) in the legislative chambers as a symbol of prosperity and
optimism for the future. Atlantic cod and its Pacific cousin, Gaddus
macrocephalus, constitute the worlds second largest whitefish resource
after Alaska pollock (Theragra chalcogramma). Annual landings by
fleets of all nations on the Atlantic total about four million metric
tons, caught with trawls and longlines, and shipped to market fresh,
frozen and salted. Cod inhabit the entire North Atlantic, ranging
as far south as the latitude of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, feeding
on copepods, amphipods, and barnacle larvae while they are juveniles.
Adult cod feed on shrimp, small lobsters, spider crabs, hermit crabs
and fish such as capelin, herring and sand lance. Cod fish are prey
to larger fish, marine mammals, as well as humans.