FAO Home>Fisheries & Aquaculture
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nationsfor a world without hunger
EspañolFrançaisРусский
Brosme brosme:   (click for more)

See tree map  display tree map
Synonyms
  •  
  • Gadus torsk  Bonaterre, 1788
  •  
  • Gadus lubb  Euphrasen, 1794
  •  
  • Blennius torsk  Lacepède, 
  •  
  • Enchelyopus brosme  Bloch & Schneider, 1801
  •  
  • Brosmius flavesny  LeSueur, 1819
  •  
  • Brosmius vulgaris  Fleming, 1828
  •  
  • Brosmius scotica  Swainson, 1839
  •  
  • Brosmius flavescens  Günther, 1862
  •  
  • Brosmius americanus  Gill, 1863
    FAO Names
    En - Tusk(=Cusk), Fr - Brosme, Sp - Brosmio.
    3Alpha Code: USK     Taxonomic Code: 1480400101
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Gadus brosme  Ascanius, 1772. lcones Rerum, 2:7
    Diagnostic Features
    Upper jaw slightly longer than lower. Barbel present on chin; none on snout.  Single, longbased dorsal and anal fins, partly connected at their posterior ends to the rounded caudal fin; pectoral fin failing far short of anal fin origin. No elongated rays in the fleshy pelvic fin.  Lateral line continuous until slightly before the caudal peduncle. Lateral line pores present on head.  Colour: variable; dorsally dark red-brown or green-brown to yellow shading into pale colour on belly. Young fish may have six transverse yellow bands on sides. The most characteristic colour pattern is on the vertical fins, which have dark margin rimmed with white. 
    Geographical Distribution

    Launch the Aquatic Species Distribution map viewer

    Western north Atlantic from New Jersey to the Strait of Belle Isle and on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Rare at the southern tip of Greenland. Found off Iceland, in the northern North Sea, and along the coasts of Scandinavia to the Murmansk Coast and at Spitzbergen.
    Habitat and Biology
    The tusk lives alone or in small shoals on rough, rock, gravel, or pebble bottoms of both sides of the North Atlantic. In the Gulf of Maine, it is occasionally found on mud with hakes, and in Norwegian waters, it often lurks among gorgonian corals. Seldom found on smooth, clean sand.Generally keeps far from the shore, near the bottom, at depths from 20 to 1 000 m, mostly between 150 and 450 m in the northeastern Atlantic (except in the Faeroe Channel where it has been caught at 954 m), and between 18 and 549 m in the northwestern Atlantic. Never found near the shore or at depths of less than 20-30 m.It tolerates a temperature range from 0 to 10°C.  The tusk moves little from bank to bank and there is no definite evidence of seasonal onshore or offshore migrations. While remaining in the same region, it undertakes only local migrations from greater to lesser depths. It is found alone or in small aggregations, not forming large schools such as do other gadoids. First maturity is reached at 8-10 years (50 cm length).
    Tusk is among the more prolific of fishes and a female of medium size can lay up to 2 million eggs which develop close to the surface. Spawning occurs in spring and early summer (April to July) on both sides of the Atlantic. Spawning grounds are distributed practically throughout the entire range, but the most important ones are between Scotland and Iceland. In the eastern Atlantic, they are located on the edge of the Shetland Islands, Faeroes and Iceland slopes, from 200 to 500 m depth, and in the northern part of the North Sea, along the 100-200 m isobaths. However, in the Gulf of Maine, the chief production of eggs probably takes place in shallower waters (but not less than 50 m) since most of the stock lives in lesser depths there. Some individuals probably even spawn close inshore in Cape Cod, Provincetown Harbour, and the Isles of Shoals. Up to 5 cm length, young are pelagic, then becoming benthic.  The growth rate is slow: at age 6 the fish is about 22 cm; at 7 it varies from 26 to 37 cm; at 8 from 36 to 48 cm; and at 15 from 60 to 80 cm. It lives for a maximum of about 20 years.It feeds mostly on crustaceans and shellfishes, and also on benthic fishes (flatfishes and gurnard) and even on starfishes.
    Size
    The maximum size is 110 cm although cusk is more common from 60 to 95 cm in the eastern, and from 50 to 80 cm in the western North Atlantic.
    Interest to Fisheries
    The total catch reported in the FAO Yearbook of Fishery Statistics for 1987 is 46 601 t. Tusk is fished by Canada (3 960 t in 1987) and USA (1 390 t in 1987) in the North West Atlantic, especially in the Gulf of Maine. Off Cape Cod, it is mostly caught incidental to cod fishing. In its eastern distribution, it is mostly taken by Iceland (2 984 t), with major fishing grounds off the north coast of the British Isles, Denmark, the Northern part of the North Sea, Kattegat to Iceland, and the Murmansk coast. Along former USSR shores, it is rare and cannot be considered a commercial fish. The decreased landings of the North American fisheries in recent years are due to the change from longliningto otter trawls; tusk is not a good trawl fish since it frequents rough bottoms. Tusk is caught with otter trawls and on hard bottoms, with longlines. It is also taken in the Gulf of Maine by sportsmen fishing for groundfish in general. The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 34 743 t. The countries with the largest catches were Norway (23 271 t) and Iceland (5 796 t).
    Utilization: fresh or frozen as fillets, but also dried, salted, and in brine.
    Local Names
    BELGIUM : Lom .
    CANADA : Cusk ,  Torsk ,  Tusk .
    DENMARK : Brosme .
    FRANCE : Brosme .
    GERMANY : Lumb .
    NETHERLANDS : Lom .
    NORWAY : Brosme .
    SWEDEN : Lubb ,  Lumb .
    UK : Cusk ,  Torsk ,  Tusk .
    USA : Cusk ,  Torsk ,  Tusk .
    former USSR : Menek ,  Menyok .
    Source of Information
    FAO species catalogue. Vol.10. Gadiform Fishes of the world (Order Gadiformes). An Annotated and Illustrated Catalogue of Cods, Hakes, Grenadiers and other Gadiform Fishes Known to Date.Daniel M.Cohen Tadashi Inada Tomio Iwamoto Nadia Scialabba 1990.  FAO Fisheries Synopsis. No. 125, Vol.10. Rome, FAO. 1990. 442p.
    Bibliography
    Andriashev, (1954)
    Bigelow & Schroeder, (1953)
    Leim & Scott , (1966)
    Quero, (1984)
    Svetovidov, (1962)
     
    Powered by FIGIS