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Cod (Gadus morhua) remains an important fish for Scottish fishermen. In the 1970s and 1980s some very large landings were made. Today cod is no more than a small but valuable by-catch to the Scottish demersal fleet, it accounts for only 2.7% of the tonnage of all fish and shellfish landed into Scotland by UK vessels. Two main stocks of cod (the North Sea and West of Scotland) contributed to Scottish landings in 2008 of 7,645 tonnes worth just over 16 million. Small catches are also made at Rockall. A variety of types of trawl nets are used to catch cod mainly in offshore areas at present. In the past inshore fisheries and local 'set net' fishing have been important; today however, they are no longer pursued. A superb whitefish, it has a long, tapered body with a mixture of sandy-browns, greyish-greens and darker speckles. Whole Cod range from 500g to over 6kg with the smaller fish (500g-1.8kg) sometimes known as Codling.


Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) is the most important demersal fish species to Scottish Fishermen. There are three stocks of haddock, North Sea, West coast and Rockall which contribute to Scottish landings. In 2008 approximately 29,500 tonnes of haddock were landed into Scotland, worth 32.7 million. Haddock accounts for around 35% of all demersal whitefish landings into Scotland. The North Sea fishery is by far the most significant; around 90% of haddock is landed into North Sea ports. A variety of types of trawl nets and seine nets are used to catch haddock. Its commercial significance is well recognised and the Scottish industry is currently taking North Sea haddock through Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) assessment against its standard for environmental and sustainable. Part of the Cod family, but doesn't grow as large, and is not usually available beyond 3.5kg. The flesh is not as white as Cod, and is not as flaky, but has a slightly sweeter taste, which is why Haddock is the best whitefish for smoking.


Whiting (Merlangius merlangus) is one of the smaller gadoid fish species that is of importance to Scottish Fishermen. There are two main stocks, the North Sea and west coast, that contribute to Scottish landings of 9,200 tonnes worth 9.3 million. A variety of types of trawl net are used to catch whiting and they occur in a number of mixed fisheries. The smallest of the Cod family, with a silvery-grey body and rounded belly, and rarely found over 2kg. This is often an overlooked fish but, like Coley, Whiting fillets are a good buy when very fresh.