Atlantic Pollock

Species Information

Atlantic Pollock, also known as Saithe, is a different fish from Alaska pollock, but it is also a member of the cod family. It is distinguished from its cousins by its greenish hue. The Atlantic pollock is olive green above, paling on the lower sides to a yellow-gray, and finally to silver gray on the belly. Its lateral line is white, and it has a small barbel on its chin. Pollock averages 4 to 15 pounds and 2 to 3 feet long. Pollock can grow to 40 pounds.

The species has been called common pollock, coal fish, Boston bluefish and blue cod on this side of the Atlantic. Pollock are found in cooler waters from Newfoundland to New Jersey. For food, they favor crustaceans and small finfish. Only about 2% of the pollock landed in the U.S. comes from Atlantic pollock stocks; the rest is Alaska pollock, a different species found in the Pacific Ocean

Cooking & Handling

Store pollock fillets up to 1 day refrigerated on ice. Keep in mind that due to higher oil content, pollock has a shorter shelf life.

A versatile fish, Atlantic pollock can be used in any recipe that calls for cod or haddock or a similar whitefish. If you want to take it upscale, try pairing it with a more expensive shellfish, like shrimp.

Atlantic pollock is very low in saturated fat and is a very good source of protein, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium.

Try pollock dishes with flavors such as bell pepper, butter, cilantro, coriander seed, cumin, garlic, jalapeno, lemon, lime, onion, scallion, shallot, sour cream, tarragon, tequila, tomatillo, tomato

Cooking Methods

Bake, Broil, Fry, Smoke

Global Supply

Canada, Iceland, Norway, United States

Seasonal Availability

Fresh Pollock is available all year. The most productive periods have been the fall and winter.

Did You Know?

Atlantic pollock is usually called pollock but is a different fish from the Alaska pollock.

Atlantic pollock is a member of the cod family but can be distinguished by its green hue and darker flesh.

Juvenile pollock (inshore) school in the open water at low tide, and disperse at high tide, hiding in intertidal algae (seaweed) beds.

Scientific Name

Pollachius virens

Market Name

Pollock

Common Names

Saithe, Coalfish, Coley, Green Cod, Boston Bluefish

Substitutions

Cod, Haddock, Flounder

Raw Characteristics

  • greenish-brown color
  • creamy-tan, dark-hued meat
  • market weight 4–15 lbs

Cooked Characteristics

  • mild tasting
  • white meat when cooked
  • slightly course texture
  • higher oil content than cod

Pronunciations

Icelandic: ufsi
Danish: sej
French: lieu noir
German: seelachs
Italian: merluzzo carbonaro
Japanese: seisu
Spanish: palero