Please add Saithe, Pollachius virens

Common Name: 
Scientific Name: 
Pollachius virens
Main Photo: 
Caught in Oslofjord, Norway. This species is quite similar to its sister species pollack (Pollachius pollachius) but is clearly identified by almost straight lateral line vs strongly decurved in pollack. Several life list entries under the pollack are actually saithe, for example,

Species Assigned:

Adult Size : 

Proposed Species Group:

Region Caught:

Closed Without Identification: 


uconn fishhead's picture

Hi,  you are absolutely right!  I sent a message to Corey stating that all of the "pollacks" caught along the American Atlantic coast are actually Pollachius virens.  I should have known this all along but wasn't paying enough attention (after all, how many Pollacks can there be?) The American Fisheries Society says the accepted common name for Pollachius virens is "Pollock" (as opposed to Saithe, which must be what they are called in Europe).  This could get confusing.  We'll see what Corey comes up with for this...

uconn fishhead's picture

Clarifying more for people, the Pollack (Pollachius pollachius) is found only on the eastern (European) side of the north Atlantic while the Pollachius virens is found on both sides (hence AlexanderS caught his in Norway).

AFS claims the accepted common name for P. virens is Pollock, while FishBase and at least England uses Saithe.  P. virens is also called Atlantic Pollock by many.  To keep things internationally clear, I suggest that Pollachius virens be added to the list as "Pollock, Atlantic (Saithe)" or just "Pollock (Saithe)".  Starting the name with Pollock will make it and Pollack appear next to each other on the list and it will be immediately clear to anyone who catches one of these species that they must choose between P. pollachius and P. virens.

Corey's picture

Okay, so I should change the current Pollock (Pollachius pollachius) to the new correct name (Pollack, Atlantic (Saith) Pollachius virens), and then add a second new species called Pollock (Saith) Pollachius pollachius with a picture from one of the European captures currently on the site (listed on the species page for it here) - maybe the one from Ireland or Norway?

The problem is that once I make that change, the fish will have to be re-added under the correct species to get the new title header, which is generated upon submission. So I'm thinking of adding two new species, changing the name of the old one to "Poll-ock/ack (invalid) Pollachius sp." and then asking people to delete and re-add the species into one of the two categories.

Sound good? Do I have that right?

uconn fishhead's picture

Hi again Corey,  I think you may as well leave the one that's already there alone.  P. pollachius is correctly labelled "Pollack" and the photo represented is correct for this species.  Of the nine Pollock/Pollack entries, 3 are correct (they were caught in Europe, 6 are incorrect (but 3 of them are myself, my wife and my son, so we'll fix ours when P. virens becomes available).

 As I suggested above, use whatever common name for the new P. virens that you think will be least confusing.  The only other thing you might do is to add "European" to the common name for P. pollachius as it is called in Wikipedia (i.e. Pollack, European).  That way no other American anglers will mistakenly file their fish under that name.

I guess we can then message the other anglers with mistaken filings to switch their fish to P. virens (if they're paying attention)

andy's picture
Corey's picture

OK, I added the new Pollock P. virens as Pollock, Atlantic (Saith).

uconn fishhead's picture

Thanks Corey.  However, I'm not sure that the European Pollack (P. pollachius) is ever called "Saithe".  I think it is only P. virens that are caught in Europe that are called Saithe (and sometimes Coalfish).

Also, Saithe is spelled with an "e" at the end.

Sorry to make you work more.  You already do such a great job and service with this website.