Pollack or Coalfish

Every now and then you see confusion on social media between pollack & coalfish. The smaller specimens in particular are sometimes confused when their colours are similar. 

Pollack and Coalfish prefer rock and weed covered ground. The bigger specimens frequenting the many sunken wrecks in deep seas.

Pollack is another member of the cod family and is a much sought after fish by anglers fishing for the family food table. Pollack tend to be a dark brown/green colour with a white belly. Their colour though does vary slightly with local habitat.
The pollack has no barbel on its chin, and its lower jaw protrudes a lot further than the upper jaw.

The lateral line on a pollack starts from above the gills and has a distinct curve down in line with the anal fin.

Above, pollack with curved lateral line

The coalfish is very similar to pollack and is sometimes misidentified by anglers as the latter. It has the same 3 dorsal fins and 2 anal fins, however the lower jaw is almost equal to that of the upper jaw. The topside of the body is a dark, brown/green colour running to silver down it’s sides, finishing white underneath.

The lateral line on the coalfish is straight

Above, coalfish with straight lateral line 

Above photo, top pollack and beneath it a coalfish. Note differences in jaw and lateral line 

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