Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Gadiformes
(Cods) > Merlucciidae
Etymology: Merluccius: Latin, mar, maris = the sea + Latin, lucius = pike (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; benthopelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 50 - 800 m (Ref. 9715), usually 100 - 200 m (Ref. 1371). Temperate; 20°S - 56°S, 69°W - 40°W (Ref. 58452)
Southwest Atlantic: off southern Brazil to Argentina and the Falkland Islands up to 54°S (Ref. 47377).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 31.9  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 95.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1371); common length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1371); common length :60 cm TL (female)
soft rays: 36 - 41;
Vertebrae: 50 - 53. Gill rakers short and thick with blunt tips. Pectoral fins relatively short, not reaching level of anal fin origin. Color is silvery with golden luster on back, silvery white on belly (Ref. 1371).
Adults inhabit continental shelf depths mainly between 100 and 200 m (Ref. 1371). Larger individuals feed on fish (anchovies, hake, nototheniids, myctophids and Southern blue whitings), squids and macrozooplankton (euphausiids and amphipods); smaller individuals feed on mysids and amphipods (Ref. 1371). Migrate inshore during spring and summer, and offshore into deep water wintering areas after spawning; also undertake diel vertical migrations (Ref. 1371). Sold fresh and frozen.
An indeterminate batch spawner.
Cohen, D.M., T. Inada, T. Iwamoto and N. Scialabba, 1990. FAO species catalogue. Vol. 10. Gadiform fishes of the world (Order Gadiformes). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cods, hakes, grenadiers and other gadiform fishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(10). Rome: FAO. 442 p. (Ref. 1371)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: highly commercial
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 4.5 - 18, mean 6.3 °C (based on 214 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00490 (0.00404 - 0.00593), b=3.08 (3.03 - 3.13), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.2 ±0.67 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.13-0.19; tm=6).
Prior r = 0.42, 95% CL = 0.26 - 0.66, Based on 4 stock assessments.
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (58 of 100) .
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 11.8 [5.4, 27.3] mg/100g ; Iron = 0.192 [0.094, 0.396] mg/100g ; Protein = 17.9 [16.9, 18.8] % ; Omega3 = 0.237 [0.146, 0.393] g/100g ; Selenium = 24 [12, 52] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 23.5 [7.4, 78.0] μg/100g ; Zinc = 0.345 [0.226, 0.507] mg/100g (wet weight); based on nutrient studies.