Sunday, February 19, 2012

What are Cusk?

The cusk is one of the lesser known saltwater fish found in New England. Cusk are related to cod but have a more eel-shaped body. Cusk is sometimes found in New England fish markets. Its mild meat is suitable for stews and chowders.

Although not managed as a commercial fishery, cusk were listed as a species of concern by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in 2004 due to very low estimates of abundance compared to historical levels.

To learn more about cusk populations, habitat preferences, and other information, Gulf of Maine Research Institute Fisheries recently undertook a study which will include underwater videography, hook and line surveys, and other data.

Early results found cusk in rocky, sheltered habitats, and none in more open habitats. Video footage of cusk shows them retreating into burrows, which suggests that conventional trawl surveys might not yield accurate information about cusk abundance.

source: Gulf of Maine Research Institute

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