Alaska pollock is a member of the cod family, reflected by some of its other names: bigeye cod, snow cod and tomcod. Once dismissed as cod’s poorer cousin, the pollock has come into its own as a valuable resource, a global commodity and a popular item (credited or not) on menus around the world. Alaska pollock is among the most ubiquitous of North Pacific groundfish, ranging from California to Alaska and across the Aleutians to the waters of Russia, China and Japan. The bulk of the catch comes from the Bering Sea, the Gulf of Alaska and Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk. In the United States, pollock are harvested by factory trawlers that process at sea and by catcher boats that deliver to shore-based processors. Many operations produce both surimi and single-frozen block products from pollock. Alaska pollock weigh 1/2 to 2 pounds and average 12 to 20 inches in length. Fillets average 2 to 3 ounces. Larger fillets of 4 to 6 ounces are available in the fall.
Images and data provided by SeafoodSource. To view the entire Seafood Handbook, visit SeafoodSource.com.