Archives for: October 2002, 20
Hello, Norway! Must be nice to catch your own fish and eat it fresh! :-) (a little envious here in New York City!)
After an hour spent searching references, I can understand your confusion. Let's try to sort it out.
The short answer is: coalfish is not listed in the blood type books, and we have no new rating for it. Technically, that means that if you are in good health, treat it as a neutral.
However, we can look at this question in more detail, and perhaps get a more thoroughgoing answer. I think it bears more scrutiny because coalfish has confusing nomenclature -- and pollack is an avoid for Os and Bs -- so let's take a look.
Many authoritative websites about fish describe coalfish as a variety of pollack. There are differences noted between Pollachius pollachius, Pollachius virens, Gadus pollachius and Gadus virens. Gadus, of course, is the cod genus. However, some sites call pollack by two or three names; some call all pollack Pollachius pollachius; and some say that variety isn't the familiar "pollack."
Jing International, a fish processor in Washington State, USA, says:
"POLLACK (Pollachius, or Gadus Virens): A North Atlantic fish of the cod family, Gadidae. It is known as saithe, or coalfish, in Europe. The pollock is an elongated fish, deep green with a pale lateral line and a pale belly. It has a small chin barbel and, like the cod, has three dorsal and two anal fins. A carnivorous, lively, usually schooling fish, it grows to about 1.1 m (3.5 feet) in length and 16 kg (35 pounds) in weight. It is caught commercially for food and also affords sport for anglers.
"The pollock classified as either Gadus [pollachius] or Pollachius [pollachius] is a related species of no commercial value found inshore in European waters."
Does that sound like your fish? and do you catch it at sea?
A history of fish species names can be found at the USDA's "Regulatory Fish Encyclopedia." The relevant page is here: the RFE entry for pollack. They assert that what is called pollack in this country is Pollachius virens (nicknames, "saithe" (close to the Norwegian "sei"?), "coalfish," "coley," and of all things, "green cod." :-D) They also note that the same fish has been named multiple times over the centuries, hence the gadus/pollachius/virens confusion.
Does this look like your fish?
Sea-ex, a commercial fishery organization, agrees with the USDA, saying "saithe" is Pollachius virens... but they list Atlantic Pollack, Alaskan Pollack and Saithe as separate fish species.
We may be at an impasse.
With this information at hand, perhaps you can compare your coalfish to the various experts' descriptions. If it does bear close resemblance to the USDA's "pollack," I guess I'd have to recommend fishing for something else, just to be on the safe side. But if your fish ain't their fish, well... as I indicated before you fell asleep reading all this, treat it as neutral!