Natural Marine World Tidbits

Cusk by Tom Byrnes

Catching a cusk in the North Atlantic.

The cod-like cusk, Brosome brosome, is a member of the family Lotidae.

Found on both sides of the North Atlantic in deep cold waters, these fish feed on various smaller fish, crustaceans, and other soft-bodied invertebrates, including starfish. They are slow-growing and may reach four feet long with a weight of over thirty pounds after 14 years.

Cusks have firm white flesh that holds together well, making them a favourite for chowders and soups. Although not directly targeted, they are often caught in trawls that are after more valued cod, haddock, and pollock.

A heavy Norwegian metal jig fooled the specimen pictured, and it was hand-cranked from a depth of 340 feet.

Tom Byrnes is the owner/operator of Cayman Marine Lab. He acquired his Coast Guard Captain’s Licence when he was a teenager and worked as a commercial fisherman in his youth. He got his first diving certificate in 1974 with the YMCA. He has worked in the local dive industry for more than 35 years and has a PhD in marine biology.

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