Atlantic Pollock are related to cod and haddock, but differ in appearance from others in the cod family by having a pointed snout, a projecting lower jaw, and a forked rather than square tail. This deep-sea fish, typically weighing from 2 to 15 pounds (1 to 7 kg), is prolific along the coasts of both North America and Europe.
Pollock have a brownish-green back that fades to yellow-grey and then silver-grey on its belly. It can be identified by a small barbell that extends from the chin of the fish to its whiskers. It has a fairly elongated and rather thin body, three dorsal fins and big eyes. Considered a strongly flavoured whitefish, it is commonly used to make fish and chips and imitation crab.
Atlantic Pollock can live up to 25 years of age, reaching sexual maturity between 4 and 7 years. Once sexually mature, Pollock spawn when their surrounding waters cool to around 8˚C. This temperature gauge means that spawning time is more variable in its northern than southern range. On Canada’s Scotian Shelf spawning occurs from September to April and peaks from December to February. Atlantic Pollock spawn over hard, stony or rocky bottoms. The eggs rise up into the water column after being fertilized Juvenile fish live in inshore sub-tidal and intertidal zones for more than a year. At around two years of age, juveniles move to deeper water. Adults finally move even further offshore, inhabiting even deeper waters in spring and summer than in winter.
Fish harvesters use curtains of netting suspended by a system of floats and weights to anchor gillnets to the seafloor. The fine netting is almost invisible, so the fish unwittingly swim into the mesh.
Bottom Longline with Hooks
This fishery uses a bottom longline that is baited with hooks and anchored to the ocean floor. A longline can be from 1 to 3 miles (1.6 to 5 km) long and have up to 2,000 hooks.
This hook-and-line fishing method uses a monofilament line and lures that is lowered and raised with an electric motor and pulleys, simulating the motion of hand-jigging