A Day Spent Searching for the Elusive Gulf of Maine Cod

Thursday, October 29, 2015 by Caroline Casals

If you want to study cod, you're going to need to catch one first.

Catching cod is no easy task! They live in deep water and are uncommon these days. To catch cod, scientists enlist the help of fishermen. Check out photos from the most recent voyage to catch those elusive cod. Notice that in search of cod, many other animals were found, including an octopus!

Zach holding a cod Lisa holding a lumpfish

Cod are an important top level predator in the Gulf of Maine. From herring to lobsters, cod eat all kinds of things. They're also a fish that means a lot to fishermen. In the past cod were part of bountiful catches that brought people to settle New England. Today too many cod in your nets can end your fishing season early.

Hans-Petter field

How to study this amazing fish? By looking at their ears of course! Well, their ear bones.  The ear bones, called otoliths, are actually little crystals, and when they form, they pick up chemicals from their food and water. Scientists use a laser to cut into the crystal and collect data about where the fish has been.

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