The journey of the cod

The North Atlantic cod swims hundreds of kilometers every year.

Lofoten´s be all or end all is inextricably linked to the world´s greatest cod harvest that takes place from January to April. The Vestfjord, between the islands and the mainland, has been called the world´s biggest maternity ward. It is here the Norwegian Arctic cod come to spawn during the winter. Until the age of 6 or 7 they live in the Barents Sea before reaching sexual maturity, and then they set off on a most amazing journey back to their place of birth. The journey begins in November-December, and after a swim of some 800 kilometers, the enormous schools of cod finally reach Lofoten in January. It is fascinating that the cod migrate to the same area every year. Scientists say this is still one of natures mysteries, but there are some conditions in Lofoten that attracts the cod: perfect spawning conditions of 4-6 degrees in the sea, correct salinity, suitable depth, appropriate currents and sufficient sustenance for the offspring. A five kilo female cod lays 2,5 million eggs, of which about 20 survive and develop into fish during the first year. Despite the great losses the future for the species is secured.

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