Despite the name, these fish aren’t actually cod at all – they are in the same group of fishes as sablefish, Pacific rockfish and scorpionfish. Found only on the West Coast, these bottom-dwellers can reach 5 feet and 80 pounds while living for more than 20 years. The population is now thriving, with stocks above target levels, thanks to smart management.
In 1999 lingcod was declared overfished, but several years of strict catch limits helped the fishery rebuild ahead of schedule in 2005. While bycatch used to be a problem in the lingcod fishery, a new type of management has helped reduce bycatch by 75% and helped fishermen ensure the fishery would remain healthy.
Fishermen, regulators and conservationists, including Environmental Defense Fund, worked together to design a catch share plan that fishery managers adopted in 2008. It went into operation in 2011. Fishermen were central to helping determine sustainable catch limits and appropriate shares of the catch.
Mildly flavored and tender in texture. Lingcod is a versatile fish to cook and a delicious, lower cost alternative to halibut. When cooked, it flakes in large chunks. When buying, lingcod can have a blue-green tint and when cooked it turns a snow white color.
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