Grimsby fish merchant buys 6ft cod believed to be the largest ever caught in the North Atlantic Yorkshire News

The huge fish caught in the North Atlantic and landed at Grimsby Docks weighs a whopping 112 pounds (51 kg) and measures nearly 6 feet (180 cm).

It was hauled off the coast of Iceland by fishermen aboard the trawler Bergey and delivered to Grimsby seafood buyer Nathan Godley on Monday.

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The cod, believed to be the largest ever caught in the North Atlantic, and could be 20 years old, was caught in deep water.

The 6-foot whopper had to be displayed on a platform

Mr. Nathan Godley bought the prize specimen for £165 after learning that an “eye-catching fish” was coming onto the market via a trawler seller.

A few days later, he proudly displayed the prized cod in the window of his Premier Seafoods store in Grimsby before selling the fillets to customers.

Godley, who has been in the business for 20 years, believes the fish breaks records.

He said: “Although difficult to verify, it could be a British record or a North East Atlantic record. I can’t find anything on the internet that there has been a bigger one.

Buyer Nathan Godley with his prize

“Somebody actually edited Wikipedia to say how big Northeast Atlantic cod could get because previously it said they only grew to around 40kg in size.

“Wikipedia now says they can grow up to 50kg.”

Nathan said he first heard that the giant fish had been landed by a fishing boat crew last Saturday when a vendor called him in advance about the catch.

He said: “The first thing I heard was on the phone from the vendor who was preparing all his fish over the weekend to sell on Monday morning.

“And he said there was some flashy fish available in the market and would I be interested in buying it?

“I said, ‘Yeah, I definitely would. That would be something I would be really interested in!’

“So, I made him a pre-offer over the phone on how much he was willing to pay.”

He learned that the fish had been removed earlier by the crew of the Berger, captained by Jón Valgeirsson, and had been caught at a depth of 70 fathoms (128 m) off the coast of Iceland.

It was then kept cool on the ship, before the crew unloaded it on Monday at Grimsby Fish Market, where it drew a large crowd.

He said: “On Monday morning, I arrived at the market and there he was laying on the ground with a huge crowd around him. We had a lot of other fish to buy and sell first, so we went for it.

“So this one stayed almost at the end. It’s a screaming auction, where the seller calls out a price and everyone nods and scratches their noses.

“But I won the tender with the one I had given him on the phone two days before.”

He paid more than expected for the cod, but was tempted by the size of the fish, most weighing just 3kg after being gutted.

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He said: “I was attracted to its freshness, but of course it was mainly the size because it is about ten times larger than the usual cod.

“There’s really only one species, and it’s halibut, which we get at our fresh fish auction, that comes close to that size.

“Most of the cod I bought that day cost me about £8, and this one obviously cost me a lot more.”

He then displayed it on ice for a day to the delight of passersby.

He said: “We had it on display in the store on the ice for a whole day on Monday. A lot of people came and it seems that everyone took a picture of him.

“A lot of people said, ‘Can I have some of that?’ and we said: ‘Not until tomorrow, it will be on display all day.’

“They put their names on it and came back on Tuesday, and by then it had been processed very early in the morning.

“We make sure we have four good steaks for me, my partner and our daughter, and we take it to my mom’s who lives around the corner to eat.”

Godley said he was surprised cod had evaded fishermen’s hooks for so long, but hoped to find more records in the future.

He said: “In the mid-1900s, there was overfishing, and that’s when we started having problems.

“But ever since then, we’ve had quotas and people telling you where you can and can’t fish, so these size fish are now more common as all the places are well managed.

“Hopefully, there might be a few more to come like this one.

“But that fish, it could have been about 20 years old, which is something a fish looks for to swim for so long and never get caught!”

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This notice was published: 2022-04-12 08:59:51

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