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Halibut vs. Cod: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 9, 2024
Halibut are large, flatfish known for their lean meat, while cod are smaller, round-bodied fish, famous for their flaky, white flesh.

Key Differences

Halibut are among the largest flatfish, characterized by their diamond shape and both eyes on one side of the head. Cod have a more round, elongated body with a distinctive barbel on their chin.
Halibut are commonly found in the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans, preferring deep, cold waters. Cod are also found in the Atlantic, as well as colder parts of the Pacific, often in shallower, coastal waters.
Halibut meat is lean, firm, and mildly flavored, making it a versatile fish for cooking. Cod is known for its soft, white, flaky flesh and is a popular choice for dishes like fish and chips.
Halibut fishing is often carefully regulated due to their slow growth rate. Cod, historically overfished, are now subject to stringent fishing quotas to aid in population recovery.
Halibut, being larger and less common, tend to be more expensive than cod, which are widely available and more affordable.

Comparison Chart

Physical Form

Large, flatfish with eyes on one side.
Smaller, round-bodied with a barbel on the chin.


Deep, cold waters of the Pacific and Atlantic.
Shallower, coastal waters, mainly in the Atlantic.

Culinary Texture

Lean, firm meat.
Soft, white, flaky flesh.


Regulated fishing due to slow growth.
Subject to quotas due to past overfishing.

Price Point

Generally more expensive.
More affordable and widely available.

Halibut and Cod Definitions


A large flatfish known for its diamond shape and delicate taste.
We grilled halibut for dinner, and it was delicious.


Found in colder ocean waters, both in the Atlantic and Pacific.
Cod fishing is a major industry in the North Atlantic.


Popular in fine dining for its lean, firm texture.
The restaurant's special tonight is a pan-seared halibut.


Characterized by its elongated body and distinctive barbel.
You can identify a cod by the small whisker under its mouth.


A choice fish for its mild flavor and versatility in recipes.
I love using halibut in fish tacos because of its mild taste.


A popular fish known for its flaky, white flesh.
Cod is often used in making traditional fish and chips.


Found in cold waters, prized in commercial fishing.
Halibut fishing requires deep-sea gear due to their habitat.


A staple in many cuisines, valued for its versatility.
Cod can be baked, fried, or poached, making it a kitchen favorite.


Recognized by having both eyes on the same side of its head.
Halibut are unique because their eyes migrate to one side as they mature.


Historically overfished, now often subject to fishing quotas.
Sustainable fishing practices have become crucial for maintaining cod populations.


Any of several large edible flatfishes of the genus Hippoglossus and related genera, of northern Atlantic or Pacific waters.


See Atlantic cod.


A large flatfish of the genus Hippoglossus, which sometimes leaves the ocean floor and swims vertically.


Any of various marine fishes of the family Gadidae, which includes the Atlantic cod and the haddock.


A large, northern, marine flatfish (Hippoglossus vulgaris), of the family Pleuronectidæ. It often grows very large, weighing more than three hundred pounds. It is an important food fish.


Lean flesh of very large flatfish of Atlantic or Pacific


Marine food fish of the northern Atlantic or northern Pacific; the largest flatfish and one of the largest teleost fishes


What is a cod?

Cod is a species of fish known for its white, flaky flesh and mild taste.

What size are cod typically?

Cod are generally smaller than halibut, averaging around 10 to 25 pounds.

What is the typical habitat of halibut?

Halibut are found in deep, cold ocean waters, primarily in the North Pacific and North Atlantic.

Are halibut good for grilling?

Yes, halibut's firm texture makes it excellent for grilling.

What is a halibut?

A halibut is a type of large flatfish, known for its lean meat and mild flavor.

Where are cod found?

Cod are found in colder ocean waters, mostly in the North Atlantic and in some parts of the Pacific.

What is the texture of halibut meat?

Halibut meat is lean, firm, and holds together well when cooked.

What fishing methods are used for cod?

Cod is commonly caught with trawling, gillnetting, or longlining.

How large can halibut grow?

Halibut can grow very large, with some reaching over 500 pounds.

What type of fishing methods are used for halibut?

Halibut is typically caught using longlines, trawls, or pots.

How does the price of cod compare to halibut?

Cod is usually more affordable than halibut and more widely available.

What are popular recipes using cod?

Cod is versatile and can be used in recipes like fish stews, baked with herbs, or in fish tacos.

How does cod meat compare to halibut in texture?

Cod meat is softer and more flaky than halibut.

Is halibut an expensive fish?

Yes, halibut is generally more expensive due to its size and less common availability.

Are there conservation concerns for cod?

Yes, cod populations have been historically overfished, leading to strict fishing regulations.

What are common ways to cook halibut?

Halibut can be grilled, baked, broiled, or pan-seared.

What are the conservation concerns for halibut?

Overfishing and habitat destruction are the main conservation concerns for halibut.

Is cod commonly used in fried dishes?

Yes, cod's flaky texture makes it popular for fried dishes like fish and chips.

Can you eat the skin of halibut?

Yes, the skin of halibut can be eaten and is often crispy when grilled or fried.

Is cod skin edible?

Yes, cod skin is edible, and when cooked properly, it can be quite tasty.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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