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Halibut vs. Cod: Know the Difference

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By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on February 4, 2024
Halibut is a large, flat, and mild-flavored fish, while Cod is a smaller, rounder fish with a firmer texture and distinct flavor.
Halibut vs. Cod

Key Differences

Halibut are large, flatfish often exceeding 500 pounds, with a diamond shape and both eyes on the upper side. Cod are smaller, typically weighing up to 25 pounds, with a more elongated body and a distinctive beard-like filament under the jaw.
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Halibut are found in the cold waters of the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans, preferring deep, offshore bottoms. Cod inhabit both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, thriving in colder, coastal waters and often found in larger schools.
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Halibut is prized for its delicate, sweet flavor and firm, flaky texture, making it suitable for grilling, baking, or frying. Cod, known for its distinct flavor and versatility, is popular in dishes like fish and chips, and is also commonly salted and dried.
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Halibut fishing is a significant industry, especially in Alaska and Canada, with strict regulations to ensure sustainability. Cod fishing has historical importance, especially in the North Atlantic, and is subject to intense management due to past overfishing.
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Halibut, being larger predators, play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of marine ecosystems. Cod, often more abundant, are key prey for larger marine animals and play a significant role in the ocean food web.
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Comparison Chart

Size

Generally larger, up to 500+ lbs
Smaller, up to 25 lbs
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Shape

Flat, diamond-shaped
Elongated, rounder
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Texture

Firm, flaky
Firmer, dense
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Flavor

Mild, sweet
Distinct, stronger
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Habitat

Deep, offshore bottoms
Colder, coastal waters
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Commercial Value

High, with strict regulations
Historically significant, managed due to overfishing
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Culinary Preference

Versatile, suited for various cooking methods
Popular in fried dishes, salted preparations
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Halibut and Cod Definitions

Halibut

Sport Fishing Target
Anglers often target Halibut for their challenging fight and size.
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Cod

Popular Seafood
Cod is a staple in many seafood dishes due to its distinctive flavor.
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Halibut

Flatfish
The Halibut, a large flatfish, is often sought after by deep-sea anglers.
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Cod

Cold-Water Species
Cod thrive in the colder waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
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Halibut

Culinary Delight
Chefs prize Halibut for its mild flavor and versatility in recipes.
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Cod

Versatile Ingredient
Cod is used in a variety of culinary preparations, from fried to salted.
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Halibut

Ocean Dweller
The Halibut, native to cold ocean waters, is a key species in marine ecosystems.
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Cod

See Atlantic cod.
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Halibut

Any of several large edible flatfishes of the genus Hippoglossus and related genera, of northern Atlantic or Pacific waters.
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Cod

Any of various marine fishes of the family Gadidae, which includes the Atlantic cod and the haddock.
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Halibut

A large flatfish of the genus Hippoglossus, which sometimes leaves the ocean floor and swims vertically.
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Cod

(Archaic) A husk or pod.
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Halibut

A large, northern, marine flatfish (Hippoglossus vulgaris), of the family Pleuronectidæ. It often grows very large, weighing more than three hundred pounds. It is an important food fish.
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Cod

(Archaic) The scrotum.
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Halibut

Lean flesh of very large flatfish of Atlantic or Pacific
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Cod

(Obsolete) A bag.
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Halibut

Marine food fish of the northern Atlantic or northern Pacific; the largest flatfish and one of the largest teleost fishes
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Cod

(obsolete) A small bag or pouch.
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Halibut

Commercial Fish
The Halibut fishery is a vital economic sector in coastal communities.
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Cod

A husk or integument; a pod.
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Cod

The cocoon of a silkworm.
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Cod

The scrotum (also in plural).
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Cod

A pillow or cushion.
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Cod

The Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua.
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Cod

The sea fish of the genus Gadus generally, as inclusive of the Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) and Greenland cod (Gadus ogac or Gadus macrocephalus ogac).
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Cod

The sea fish of the family Gadidae which are sold as "cod", as haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) and whiting (usually Merlangius merlangus).
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Cod

Other unrelated fish which are similarly important to regional fisheries, as the hapuku and cultus cod.
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Cod

Other unrelated fish which resemble the Atlantic cod, as the rock cod (Lotella rhacina) and blue cod (Parapercis colias).
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Cod

A joke or an imitation.
I assume it all could just be a cod.
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Cod

A stupid or foolish person.
He's making a right cod of himself.
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Cod

Having the character of imitation; jocular. (now usually attributive, forming mostly compound adjectives).
“Illegitimi non carborundum” is a well-known example of cod Latin.
Dalton categorises Muse's latest composition as “cod-classical bombast”.
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Cod

(Polari) Bad.
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Cod

To attempt to deceive or confuse; To joke; To kid.
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Cod

A husk; a pod; as, a peascod.
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Cod

A small bag or pouch.
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Cod

The scrotum.
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Cod

A pillow or cushion.
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Cod

An important edible fish (Gadus morrhua), taken in immense numbers on the northern coasts of Europe and America. It is especially abundant and large on the Grand Bank of Newfoundland. It is salted and dried in large quantities.
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Cod

The vessel that contains the seeds of a plant (not the seeds themselves)
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Cod

Lean white flesh of important North Atlantic food fish; usually baked or poached
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Cod

Major food fish of arctic and cold-temperate waters
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Cod

Fool or hoax;
The immigrant was duped because he trusted everyone
You can't fool me!
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Cod

Harass with persistent criticism or carping;
The children teased the new teacher
Don't ride me so hard over my failure
His fellow workers razzed him when he wore a jacket and tie
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Cod

Payment due by the recipient on delivery;
A collect call
The letter came collect
A COD parcel
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Cod

Collecting the charges upon delivery;
Mail a package C.O.D.
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Cod

Schooling Fish
In the ocean, Cod often swim in large schools, making them a target for commercial fishing.
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Cod

Historical Significance
Cod fishing has played a crucial role in maritime history and economy.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Where is Cod commonly found?

Cod inhabit colder, coastal waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
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Where can I find Halibut?

Halibut are found in the North Pacific and North Atlantic, in deep, offshore waters.
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What is the typical size of Cod?

Cod are usually smaller, averaging up to 25 pounds.
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Is Halibut good for grilling?

Yes, Halibut's firm texture makes it excellent for grilling.
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Are Halibut endangered?

Halibut populations are managed, but not currently endangered.
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What's the flavor profile of Halibut?

Halibut has a mild, sweet flavor.
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Are there health benefits to eating Halibut?

Halibut is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
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How does Cod taste?

Cod has a distinct, somewhat stronger flavor.
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Is Cod farmed or wild-caught?

Cod is both farmed and wild-caught.
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What is the typical size of a Halibut?

Halibut can grow up to 500 pounds or more.
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What dishes is Cod known for?

Cod is famous in fish and chips and salted fish dishes.
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Can Halibut be farmed?

Halibut farming is challenging but exists on a small scale.
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What's a significant difference in cooking Halibut vs. Cod?

Halibut is less likely to flake apart, while Cod is great for battering and frying.
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How important is Halibut in commercial fishing?

Halibut is highly valuable commercially, especially in Alaska.
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Is Cod used in any raw preparations?

While less common, Cod can be used raw in certain dishes.
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Has Cod been overfished?

Cod has faced overfishing issues, leading to strict management measures.
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What nutritional benefits does Cod offer?

Cod is a low-fat source of protein and rich in vitamins.
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What's a fun fact about Halibut?

Halibut can camouflage themselves on the ocean floor.
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What role does Cod play in the fishing industry?

Cod has a historic and ongoing significant role in global fisheries.
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Can Halibut be eaten raw?

Yes, Halibut is often used in sushi and sashimi.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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