The Safina Center

Coho salmon.Coho salmon.Photo taken by: Carl Safina

Some problems exist with this species' status or catch methods, or information is insufficient for evaluating. Cod, Pacific – U.S. Alaska A fishery targeting this species has been certified as sustainable and well managed to the Marine Stewardship Council's environmental standard. Learn more at
These fish contain levels of mercury or PCBs that may pose a health risk to adults and children.

Pacific Cod is a relatively fast growing fish that can produce several hundred thousand eggs per year. It is commercially fished in two regions, the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands, and both populations have good abundance.

The main fishing methods for Pacific Cod are bottom trawl, pot, longline, and jig gear. Management in Alaska uses a series of catch limits, closures, and permits to limit the overall ecosystem effects of the Pacific Cod fishery.

Concerns regarding seabird bycatch and food availability for Steller’s sea lions have been addressed by recent management. Gear requirements have been implemented to reduce seabird catch and fishing closures were put in place to protect critical sea lion habitat.

In January 2010, the Marine Stewardship Council certified all gear types in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands as sustainable fisheries.

Full species report here.

This fish may have moderately high levels of mercury that could pose a health risk to adults and children. More info here on mercury in cod. Check out our mercury in seafood section.