Jaws subequal; barbel longer than eye. Second dorsal fin with 59 to 70 rays; anal fin with 57 to 66 rays; pelvic fin not reaching beyond end of pectoral fin. Colour: dorsally reddish brown, shading to white ventrally; posterior areas of vertical fins dark with pale margins.
Barents Sea and Iceland to Morocco; rare in the northwestern Mediterranean, off southern Greenland, and Canada.
Ling - Geographical distribution
Habitat and biology
Demersal on rocky bottomsat depths of 15 to 600 m or more, commonly from 100 to 400 m. Young up to 1-2 years of age are coastal (15-20 m depth) and pelagic; fish of 3 years migrate to greater depths.First maturity is reached at 5 years for males (80 cm) and 5-6 years for females (90-100 cm).
Spawning occurs from March to July and eggs are pelagic. Fecundity may reach 20 to 60 million eggs per female. Major spawning grounds are located at 200 m depth from the Bay of Biscay to the Gulf of Norway at 100 to 300 m off southern Iceland, and at 50 to 300 m in the Mediterranean Sea. Growth is rapid (8-10 cm/year): at 1 year, 20 cm; 2 years, 31-35 cm; 3 years, 31-35 cm; 4 years, 73-83 cm. Females grow faster than males. The maxi-mum age is 10 years for males and 14 for females (ca. 200 cm total length).
Feeds mostly on fish (cod, herring, flatfish) but also on crustaceans (lobsters), cephalopods and echinoderms (starfishes).
Reaching 200 cm total length; common from 63 to 160 cm.
Fished with bottom trawls, longlines, gillnets and handlines. Marketed frozen, as fresh fillets, dried. salted, in brine and also fishmeal.