Ling, Molva molva

IUCN Red List assessment: Least Concern

Pencil on paper

Artist: Alex Read

The common ling is a large species related to the cod. It has a long, reddish brown body, and is around one hundred centimetres when mature, although it has been known to reach up to two hundred centimetres.  It is found in the northwest Atlantic, sometimes in the shallows but usually in deeper ocean. Ling can be distinguished from similar fish such as hake by its single sensory barbel extending from its lower jaw.  Although there is very little formal stock assessment of the species, it is thought to be more resilient than other deep sea species. It is often found in habitats vulnerable to deep sea trawling, meaning that other, more vulnerable species are taken as bycatch. MCS recommend that line-caught ling is usually a more sustainable choice.  

*Ling Ling!*Excuse me, that is the telephone – Hello? … Yes, fine thank you … Just writing a paragraph or two about the common ling … Yes, that’s it … yes, so nice they named it twice … goodbye now!

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