Bottom fish

Cod, haddock, and halibut are delicious and healthy fish that would not have been on our table if fishermen had not learned to get them literally “from the bottom of the sea”. The fact is that these species live in the bottom layer of water, and some (for example, halibut) even hunt “lying” at the bottom of the sea.

Bottom trawling is used for the catch of such fish. A huge net in the form of a bag, equipped with special loads, descends from a fishing vessel on cables. The net lies on the bottom, then the vessel begins to move and drags it along – this process is called trawling. When there are enough fish, the winches lift the net on board, and the crew begins sorting and processing the catch.

Bottom trawling on the NWFC vessels mainly produces cod, huddock and Greenland halibut. By-catch-redfish, American plaice. catfish (spotted. blue and striped), brosme, ling and Stingrayand some other species – can also get into the net. It is important that all the fish caught by bottom trawling come to the table directly from their natural habitat, and not from the cage, so their meat is rich in vitamins and trace elements.


Atlantic cod / Gadus Morhua

The Atlantic cod (lat. Gadus morhua) is a subclass of ray-finned fish in the cod family. Cod is one of the most valuable commercial fish of the Northern Basin: it is widespread and, at the same time, cod meat is an excellent dietary product with low calorie content and high (up to 20 %) protein content. Fish oil, which is used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, is obtained from the cod’s liver.

altThe body length of a cod can reach 1.8 m, but in cooking, fish with a length of 40-80 cm are usually used.
altCod is caught all year round.
altThere are few small bones in cod, so it is easy to make high-quality fillets from it. Cod meat is low-fat, it contains up to 20 % of complete and easily digestible protein.



The haddock (lat. Melanogrammus aeglefinus) is a close relative of the cod, but of relatively small size: the largest cod caught weighed 96 kg, and the largest haddock was only 17 kg. The life expectancy of haddock in its natural habitat is up to 14 years.

altAlthough adult haddock can reach a length of a meter or more, young individuals with a size of 50-75 cm are of commercial value.
altThe haddock is harvested by trawling all year round. This fish prefers waters with a salinity of at least 30 %, for example, the south of the Barents Sea, where it is caught in industrial volumes.
altHaddock meat is similar in taste and nutritional value to cod meat, however, even surpasses it in the amount of Omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids.



The saithe (lat. Pollachius virens) is a fish from the cod family. It is distributed throughout the North Atlantic and the North Sea, sometimes found in the Baltic.

altUnder favorable conditions, the saithe can grow up to 130 cm and weigh up to 30 kg. But most often there are species 50-75 cm long and weighing 9-12 kg.
altIt lives both in the water column and in the immediate vicinity of the bottom, so it can be caught, using bottom trawling. Saithe can be caught all year round, but the peak catch is in the first months of the year, from January to March.
altSaithe meat is dietary, it has little fat (less than 1 %) and a lot of protein (up to 20 %). Saithe meat has a delicate taste and smell, regardless of the size and weight of the fish.

Greenland halibut


Greenland halibut (black halibut, lat. Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) is a large (up to 130 cm in length) ray-finned fish of the flounder family. It lives in the north Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and in the seas of the Arctic Ocean.

altThe halibut is easily recognized by its distinctive flattened body shape: this bottom predator prefers to hunt “lying” on its left side. The maximum body length of a female halibut is 130 cm, and the maximum weight is 45 kg (males are almost one and a half times smaller).
altCommercial production of halibut is carried out from June to October. The rest of the time, the spawning process is underway, and fishing is suspended.
altHalibut meat contains up to 22 % fat, which makes halibut dishes tender, juicy and nutritious. In addition, halibut dishes have a unique sweet taste.

Interesting facts about fish


“Dumb as a fish" is definitely not about cod. These fish got their name because of the characteristic crackling sound, they make it by contracting the muscles of the swim bladder. The “crackling” is especially well heard when thousands of fish gather in schools and go to spawn.

To make a cod dish delicious, only young fish should be used for cooking, as the meat becomes tough and dry with age. Since the cod grows all its life, it is possible to distinguish the young ones by their size.


In Britain, haddocks were called either “St. Peter's fish” or then “devil's fish”. The dark spots located on the sides of the haddock's body do look like the finger marks of a mysterious fisherman who grabbed a fish. But in fact, these spots help haddocks to recognize each other, gather in schools and quickly identify predators.


Saithe usually hunt in huge schools. Small predators tightly surround the selected prey, and the noise they make at the same time can be heard even above the water.


Halibut fry hatch from eggs as ordinary fish with a symmetrical body. But as the fry grows and develops, it transforms in a special way: the fish “lays” on the left side, while its eyes and mouth shift to the right.

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