Binomial name: Pollachius virens
Species: P. virens
Common Name : Coley
Other names: Boston blue (separate from bluefish), Coalfish/coley, and Saithe in the UK, the young fish are called podleys in Scotland and northern England.
Habitat: Coley fish is found in Loch Etive, North Sea. It is common in the northern parts of the Northern Atlantic, including the Bay of Biscay and Palmas Altas Campus. Adults can typically live up to 16–20 years and grow to 100–120 cm but individuals up to 130 cm (51 in) and weigh up to 32 kg (71 lb) have been caught. Juveniles tend to be found close to shore, particularly in rocky areas, and tend to move out into deeper waters as they grow. The current IGFA All-Tackle World Record is 22.7 kg (50 lb) which was caught at Saltstraumen in Norway
This species can be separated from P. pollachius by looking at the relative lengths of the upper and lower jaws. P. pollachius has a longer underslung lower jaw while P. virens has approximately equal upper and lower jaw lengths. This gives a very different profile to the head. In general, P. pollachius is a brown or golden colour with a dark back while P. virens is bright silver with a very dark green back. P. virens generally appears to have relatively smaller eyes. The lateral line of P. pollachius has a noticeable kink over the pectoral fins while that of P. virens is straighter.
The flesh of coalfish (P. virens) is darkly coloured (hence the common name) while that of P. pollachius is similar to other members of the cod family. This dark colour in the fresh uncooked flesh may have led to the undeserved reputation of this fish as poor for eating.
A Coley belongs to the same family as cod and haddock, although it’s considered inferior. Generally speaking, coley is a good choice, as stocks are currently healthy and most are harvested sustainably.
Coley is one of the least expensive fish in the cod family and is a great sustainable substitute for cod or haddock in many recipes. Coley has a distinctive coal-coloured skin with a thick white line running laterally along its body; the belly fades to pale silv
Coalfish is edible and has commercial value, although it is considerably less valuable than premium whitefish such as cod and haddock. To achieve a salmon-like orange color, it can be salted and smoked. In Germany, the fish is commonly sold as Seelachs (literally ‘sea salmon’), although it is not closely related to any salmon.
While a great deal of saithe consumed in Europe are caught in British waters, it is not a popular fish with consumers there. Most of the British saithe catch is thus exported to France, where it is widely eaten.
It is delicious, healthy, and much cheaper alternative to cod. Coley stocks are thought to be in good shape around the UK and fish are caught using low by-catch nets. Coley is one of the top choices for sustainable British fish. Hake: Hake has a similar light flesh to cod, but is much more flavourful.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only.