Maine Seafood Guide – Cusk
Cusk Brosme brosme
also known as tusk, torsk
Cusk is a member of the cod family. It is a slender fish with a single long, thick dorsal fin and pectoral fins edged in black. Cusk varies in color depending on its habitat. Sluggish and weak swimmers, cusk stay near hard sea bottom in deep water, from Newfoundland to New Jersey.
Little is known about Gulf of Maine cusk, including stock structure. Cusk were designated by NOAA as a species of concern in 2004, and it is currently a candidate species for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
Cusk is not managed separately but is caught in the Northeast Multispecies (Groundfish) Fishery managed by the New England Fishery Management Council.
Cusk is not targeted by commercial fishermen, but is caught with other groundfish.
Cusk are occasionally caught by anglers targeting cod and haddock. There are no limits on size or number.
Cusk are similar in nutritional value to cod and haddock.
Ocean cusk is rare in the marketplace. A firm, white-fleshed fish good for chowders and stews, it can be substituted for halibut.
- Sea Grant Scholar Jocelyn Runnebaum has been working with Maine lobster fishermen to identify ways to reduce harm to cusk unintentionally caught in lobster traps.