Cods & Hakes family (Gadiformes), etymologically derived from the Latin 'gadus' meaning cod, is a group of fishes that are mostly found in cold waters of both the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Within the Gadiformes we find species as well known to all of us as are the hakes and cods.
With a more or less elongated body, Cods & Hakes are characterized by having fins without spiny rays. The pelvic fins, in those species that have them, have 11 soft rays, and are inserted in the body of the animal in a lower plane or frontal to the plane of the pectoral fins. In general, both the dorsal and anal fins are long, and the caudal fin has both globules equal and symmetrical, that is to say it is homocerca.
Practically all the described species of Cods & Hakes, 613 species classified in 13 families and 84 genera, live in salt water. Only one species is known to live permanently in freshwater, and that is Lota lota. A second species, Microgadus tomcod, is adaptable to freshwater. Cods & Hakes are an order of fishes with special importance in commercial fisheries. Approximately 25% of the species caught worldwide by commercial fisheries belong to the Cods & Hakes order. This is a direct consequence of the fact that they are highly prized species in terms of cuisine.
In terms of size within the Cods & Hakes, this ranges from a mere 7 cm to species that reach 2 meters in length, as is the case of the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua).