Atlantic cod
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Atlantic cod, Gaddus morhua

When 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.

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