Icelandic Cod

Icelandic cod is the most valuable fish in Icelandic fishing grounds. We export most of it.

The cod lives in the north Atlantic sea. The cod is usually yellow to green and smaller fish are red to brown with white bottom. The fish has a dark line from the head to the tail and a goatee which he uses to look for food on the bottom of the ocean.

The Icelandic cod is groundling that lives form few meters to 600 meter depth. South of Iceland the fish reaches pubescent at age 3-5 years old but north of Iceland 4-6 years old. The spawning usually begins in early Mars and lasts until May. The eggs can be up to 15 million pr. fish.

Icelandic cod

Small fish and invertebrate are the main food source of the cod. Young fishes mainly eat invertebrate, shrimp and krill, but older fish eat capelin, blue whiting, smaller cod and many more fishes. The cod main enemies are the men, seals, whales and sharks.

Icelandic cod is the most important for the Icelanders when it comes to fishing. It is the most valuable species. The cod is about 10-15% of the whole catch but the value of it is 35-40% af all the fish we export. We mainly fish the cod in trawl but also on line or a net at wintertime. Last 30 years the total catch has been from 160-470 thousand tons pr. year. But in the year 2007 the total catch was 187 thousand tons and 2008/2009 it went down to 130 thousand tons.

Most of the cod is salted and dried and maid in to delicious Bacalao. Some is put on ice and maid in product on land. We also freeze some of it and sell it abroad. The most valuable fish is sent fresh by air. The main buyers are UK, Spain, Portugal and Netherlands.

Bacalao recipe

4 yellow onions
700 g bacalao
6 red tomatoes
½ cub extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp tomatpure
2 red bell pepper
½ red chili pepper

Clean all the bones and fish skin and through that away. Cut the fish in to pieces. Heat the olive oil on a pan and fry the onion until soft and then stir the tomatpur together with the onion. Add the fish, tomato, chili and the bell pepper to the pan. Let it begin to boil lower the head and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with potatoes or bread. You can even ad the potatoes to the pan but then you have to simmer it for 30 minutes in steed.

Recipe from Agnar Sverrisson at Texture restaurant in London

600g Icelandic cod
50g olive pesto
50 gr fresh herbs
200g cooked potato
50ml olive oil

Cook the cod slowly so it will fall in pieces/flakes. Serve the cod with crushed potatoes olive pesto, fresh herbs and good olive oil.

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