(Bottom Gillnet, Bottom Longline, Bottom Trawl and Danish Seine from Iceland and Northeast Arctic)
Most Atlantic cod in the U.S. is imported from Iceland and the northeast Arctic. Atlantic cod fisheries in these regions are well-managed and populations are increasing. The small portion of the fishery that uses hook-and-line gear is the "Best Choice" thanks to the low levels of bycatch and habitat damage.
A portion of this fishery is certified as sustainable to the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) .
Atlantic cod is a deep-water fish, living at 1,300 feet or more on both sides of the Atlantic. Cod is one of several groundfish species, meaning that they live on the seafloor.
For centuries, North Atlantic cod was one of the world's largest and most reliable fisheries. However, decades of overfishing have resulted in dramatic population declines. Although many cod stocks in the Atlantic are severely depleted and still experience overfishing, cod in Iceland and the northeast Arctic are more abundant and are being fished sustainably.
Fishermen often catch cod with bottom trawl gear, which involves dragging large nets across the seafloor. Trawling damages marine habitats and produces bycatch. However, a portion of the Icelandic and northeast Arctic fisheries uses hook-and-line gear, which results in low levels of bycatch and habitat damage.
Imported hook-and-line cod is a "Best Choice," while imported cod caught using other methods is a "Good Alternative."