The fish that can tell Newfoundland and Labrador researchers a story

Transcontinental Media
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Data from tagged cod reveals migration, spawning and feeding patterns

By Clayton Hunt

TC Media—Harbour Breton

Of the millions of cod caught in Newfoundland and Labrador waters in the past 500 years, few have stood out in any special way from the rest.

That may have changed Aug. 31, 2012, when Gerry King of Badger’s Quay caught a cod — Cod 017 — on Ireland Shoal, about 20 nautical miles from his community.

While there was nothing special about Cod 017 as cod go — other than its large size — there was a “pop-up satellite tag” on its back that will make it one of the most famous cod ever caught in Newfoundland waters.

A tag was placed on Cod 017 on May 30, 2012 by researchers aboard the Celtic Explorer as part of a new research project that is enabling scientists George Rose and Sherrylynn Rowe to obtain a clearer picture of cod migration patterns, where they spawn, where they feed and their vertical migration patterns in a water column.

Rose and Rowe are part of the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER) at the Marine Institute (MI) of Memorial University. Rose is the director of the centre.

Cod 017 was one of several cod tagged in 2012 in the offshore Bonavista Corridor as part of MI’s study to discover more information about cod movements in Newfoundland waters.

Rose said researchers have never had access to the type of information about the species that Cod 017, and others who were tagged in 2012, are now providing to the MI program.

While satellite tags were previously used only on larger marine species such as whales and sharks, advances in technology have developed satellite tags that are small and powerful enough to use on cod.

The CFER research is the first of its kind with cod worldwide.


Organizations: CFER, Marine Institute, Fisheries Ecosystems Research

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page