|Researched by||Sonia Rowley||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Large, older individuals of Pollachius pollachius are usually darker in colour, where juveniles are green, brown or occasionally crimson and gold. Such colouration ensures the juveniles are inconspicuous, although they may be easily confused with juveniles of Pollachius virens (Saithe) and other cod species. Adults of Pollachius virens have a straight lateral line and equal length jaws. Other similar species that may be confused for Pollachius pollachius are: Merlangius merlangus (whiting) that has an upper jaw longer than the lower, and Melanogrammus aeglefinus, that has a black pectoral spot and a black lateral line (Gibson et al., 2001).
Pollachius pollachius feeds on deep sea prawns, Clupea harengus, Ammodytes tobianus, Sprattus sprattus, Mallotus villosus and other open water fish, and can be observed hanging above or within kelp forests and wrecks. This species hunts singly or in small groups by lying close to the sea bed watching sand eels shoaling above them. They suddenly dart up and grab their prey then resume their former position to let the shoal re-group. Such behaviour has been observed in juveniles hunting on groups of mysid shrimps or Gobius flavesecens (Naylor, 2003).
Pollachius pollachius has a small commercial fishery often caught with Gadus morhua in gill nets, traps or long lines. However, pollack is a popular species with anglers as they readily take bait (Wheeler, 1969).
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Last Updated: 03/07/2008