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Whole cod
Latin: Gadus morhua
Norway has the world's largest cod stock, and it has been the means of existence for people along the Norwegian coast for thousands of years. The cod is still the most important resource for Norwegian fisheries, and it is just as popular on the dinner table today as it was 5300 years ago.

Cod has an extended, pot-bellied body of white flesh. Its upper side is a brown speckled colour while the underside has a lighter shade. Being an active hunter, the barbel on the chin of its large head helps it to find food such as other smaller fish and crustaceans.

Two types of cod in Norwegian waters

The stationary coastal cod and the migrating Norwegian-Arctic cod.

Coastal cod lives on the seabed in shallow waters along the coast, while the Norwegian-Arctic cod – the larger part of the total Norwegian cod stock – inhabits an area in the Barents Sea until it is sexually mature. Only then it moves to the Norwegian coast. These mature cod are better known as skrei.

Read more: Fish still an important business for the local community

Cod on ice



Each year the total quota of cod is determined by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade,
Industry and Fisheries. The quota is a result of negotiations with other coastal states and is accordingly allocated to fishermen licensed to fish for cod.

The North East Arctic stock, which is the largest cod stock in the world, is considered to be in good condition and is sustainably managed. North East Arctic cod fisheries are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), an independent environmental body, which sets criteria for sustainable fishing requirements, and KRAV, Sweden’s best-known standard for sustainable fishing.

Read more: Our certifications

Food safety

The Norwegian seafood industry is subject to stringent controls to ensure food safety.

The system consists of several bodies which jointly examine and monitor compliance with the requirements at all stages of the production chain. These bodies are the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, the Norwegian National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES), the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries and the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries.

Skrei is also subject to a Norwegian standard (NS 9406:13) quality mark which prescribes the specific conditions under which these sexually mature spawning cod must be selected, handled and packaged.

Nutritional content

Cod is a lean fish and is rich in:

  • Protein, which builds and maintains all the cells in the body.
  • Vitamin B12, important for the body's production of new cells, including red blood cells, and helps prevent anaemia.
  • Selenium, an important element in the enzymes that combat harmful chemical processes in the body.
  • Iodine, regulates the body's metabolism and is important for normal growth and development of the nervous system.

How to use cod

The cod has a mild, white colour to the flesh and is suitable for many different types of accompaniments and spices. It can be strongly spiced as in a bacalao or lightly salted. Cod flakes easily and should therefore not be cut into pieces that are too small. 

Cod on cutting board with pasta and asparagus
Cod is very versatile and can be grilled, fried, boiled or eaten raw in sushi.

Read more: Baked cod - simple and delicious dinner recipes

The skrei has a great deal of muscle, good firmness and a white, delicate flesh. The byproducts from skrei such as the roe, liver, tongue and jaw make the skrei a soughtafter product.

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Lerøy Seafood is a full range seafood solution provider within the retail, horeca and industry segments.

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Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)

Coastal cod: Max. 130cm and 40kg
Nutritional content per 100g
Energy (kJ)345 kJ
Energy (kcal)81 kcal
Fat1,0 g
-Saturated fat0,1 g
-Monounsaturated fat0,1 g
-Polyunsaturated fat0,3 g
Carbohydrates0 g
Sugar0 g
Protein18,1 g
Salt0,13 g