That Pollock You’re Catching? Now it’s a Cod

Jay Barrett/KMXT
The Pollock A season got underway in the Bering Sea on Monday, but what the fishermen haul up will now technically be a cod fish.
That’s because scientists have recently dug deeper back into the Pollock’s family tree and found out that they are more closely related to cod than they knew. In fact, Alaska Pollock are more closely related to Atlantic cod than anything else.
So, NOAA has moved Alaska Pollock from the genus Theragra, back into the genus Gadus, where it was originally assigned back in the day when it was first described scientifically. Alaska pollock now is to be called Gadus chalcogrammus, and it will join Pacific cod, Atlantic cod, and Greenland cod as a true gadid, or true cod.
All cod and the Alaskan Pollock, along with hake, haddock and whiting, were always together in the scientific classification family Gadis, in the order Gadiformes.
Of course, that really won’t make a difference to most people, except maybe fishmongers who want to make sure they’re getting exactly what they ordered.
According to an item on, NOAA did not instigate the change. The new classification was made by the American Fisheries Society in their publication of common and scientific names, and that is the authority used by NOAA.


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