State Fish of Massachusetts

State Fish of Massachusetts

Cod (Gadus Morrhua) Is The Official State Fish of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Adopted Cod (Gadus Morrhua) As The State Fish n May 6, 1974. For over 200 years, the emblem of the State Fish cod has remained a symbol of the Commonwealth’s economic beginnings, as the fishing industry provided the Puritans with food, fertilizer, and revenue for trade.


Physical Description

Massachusetts State Fish Cod reach a maximum length of 150 to 200 cm. and a weight of 40 kg. The greatest recorded weight of Cod is 96 kg. The color of Cod varies with respect to the environment in which the fish lives. Water with large volumes of algae will yield a red to greenish skin color. The pale grey color is more prevalent for fish found on the ocean floor or on sandy bottoms. The State Fish of Massachusetts cod has 1 chin barbel, 3 dorsal fins, and 2 anal fins. Cod also has a pronounced lateral line from the gills to the tail. The coloring of Massachusetts State Fish cod is often shaded from top to bottom. The dorsal area of the fish may be a rich brown to green and fade to silver towards the ventral side. Some cod may have brown/red spots on the sides and back.



Cod are marine benthopelagic fish, living near the bottom and in the open ocean. Cod also inhabit brackish waters. State Fish Cod can be found in a wide range of habitats within the ocean, from the shoreline down to the continental shelf. State Fish of Massachusetts can be found at depths of 500 to 600 meters in coastal waters and are also numerous in open ocean waters. Codfish are located in a temperate climate with a range in temperature from 0 to 20 degrees Celsius.


Geographic Range

Gadus morhua is commonly known as Massachusetts State Fish Cod and can be found along the eastern and northern coasts of North America, along the coasts of Greenland, and from the Bay of Biscay north to the Arctic Ocean, including the Atlantic waters around Iceland, the North Sea, and the Barents Sea.



State Fish Cod can reach a maximum lifespan in excess of 20 years, with a minimum lifespan of a few hours/days (shortly after the eggs are released). Within the last 100 years, typical lifespans have changed drastically as a result of commercial cod fisheries. Most recently, fisheries have begun harvesting younger fish.


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