Blue Ling

Blue ling

Blue Ling Molva dypterygia; Pennant, 1784. Family: Gadidae

A close relative of the white ling (Molva molva) commonly found on the continental shelf, blue ling is mainly found at depths of 600-1,000 metres in the Rockall Trough, and at shallower depths in the Faroe-Shetland Channel.

The landings from the north-eastern Atlantic increased considerably from the late 1970s, and through most of the 1980s, largely due to the exploitation of spawning aggregations in the early spring by French and German trawlers. The peak of landings was roughly 37,000 tonnes in 1980. In 2001, 10,515 tonnes were landed from waters west of the British Isles. The International Council for the Exploration of the Seas' (ICES) advice is that this species is severely depleted, and Total Allowable catch (TAC) for EU vessels in 2003 has been set at 3,678 tonnes.