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Common ling

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Title: Common ling  
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Subject: Lutefisk, Cod, Mollösund, Pescado frito, Ackee and saltfish
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Common ling

Common ling
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Gadiformes
Family: Lotidae
Genus: Molva
Species: M. molva
Binomial name
Molva molva
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Molva molva range map.

The common ling or simply the ling, Molva molva, is a large member of a family of cod-like fishes. An ocean fish whose habitat is in the Atlantic region and can be found around Iceland, Faroe Islands, British Isles, the Norse coast and occasionally around Newfoundland, the ling has a long slender body that can reach 2 metres in length; in adulthood, it is generally a deep-running fish, spending much of its life at depths of 100 m or more; younger fish are found at shallower depths.

The ling is edible; it can be considered interchangeable with cod in either its fresh, salted, or dried forms. The salted roe of the ling is considered a delicacy in Spain and is known as huevas de maruca. The lutefisk – ling that is first dried, then soaked in water and then steeped in a lye of soda and slaked lime – is a traditional dish at the Christmas table in Sweden, Norway, and Finland.


Specific seas of occurrence include the Norwegian Sea, along the coastal shelves, and the Sea of the Hebrides, where the species is abundant.[1]One measuring 6 ft in length was caught off Shetland on 24 February 2013. It is thought to be the largest fish ever caught in British waters.[2]


  • "Molva molva".  
  • Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Molva molva in FishBase. January 2006 version.
  • Alan Davidson. Oxford Companion to Food (1999), "Ling". p.454 ISBN 0-19-211579-0
  • C.Michael Hogan, (2011) Sea of the Hebrides. Eds. P. Saundry & C.J.Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC.
  • Marine Fauna Gallery of Norway

Line notes

  1. ^ C.Michael Hogan (2011)
  2. ^ "Giant fish weighing more than 67lbs reeled in off Shetland" (html).   A Shetland fisherman is celebrating after reeling in a giant fish weighing more than 67 lb (30 kg).
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