Arctic Cod (Polar Cod) (Boreogadus saida)
Reference work entry
Arctic Cod (Polar Cod) (Boreogadus saida) – cold-water, schooling, pelagic fish of the Cod family (Gadidae). It inhabits all the Arctic seas circumpolarly. In the Russian part of the Arctic Region, it can be met from Spitsbergen in the west to the Bering Sea in the east. Its length is up to 35 cm, usually 12–16 cm. It stays close to the ice edge and in the coastal zone. It survives in desalinated and even in fresh water, goes quite far up the rivers. For the most part of the year it can be met in the water of 0 °C to −1.8 °C, in autumn it prefers water temperature 0.6 °C…2.2 °C. In autumn and winter it gathers in the coastal zone in great numbers. It matures at 3–4 years, growing to 19–20 cm. The spawning period is from October to March. The spawn is pelagic. The fertility is 9,000–21,000 eggs. It plays an important role in feeding of some sea animals and fish-eating birds. It can be eaten by terrestrial animals (polar foxes and bears) as well, when it is cast to the shore by storms during autumn schooling. Lifetime is 6–7 years. Economic significance is not high.
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