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Cape Cod How can you tell how old a codfish is?

To age a codfish you need to remove the fish’s otolith. An otolith is a bone located just behind the ear which is used for hearing. Then count the number of lines in the otolith (one line = one year). just like counting the rings in a tree to see how old it is.

The NMFS observer program often sends observers out fishing with us. Part of the data collection process includes removing the ear bones (otolith) from a sample of the codfish catch. These cod are also measured and weighed.

Also: As a fish grows, their scales produce “rings” much like a tree, and that is another way scientists can tell how old a fish is.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 12/15/08
Categories: FishingNature
Keywords: codfish, nature, otolith, cod, ear bones


Had the opportunity to go deep sea fishing and the captain gave us cod ears.  I would love to turn them into jewelry but don’t really know how to do that without damaging them.  Wonder if they can be drilled?  Would love to know if anyone has done this.

Posted by Judy Bickel from Northumberland, PA on 09/03/10 at 01:49 PM | #

to Judy of Northumberland,PA. I bought earrings in Nova Scotia made from cod ears. Posts were just glued onto the back of them with jewelry adhesive. Nothing was drilled. Hope that helps you.

Posted by sandy from Calidornia on 12/29/10 at 06:16 AM | #

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