Cusk, a fish belonging to the cod family or gadidce, and to the genus brosimus (Cuv.), characterized by an elongated body, a single dorsal fin extending the whole length of the back, fleshy ventral fins, and one barbel at the chin. The American cusk, which is considered specifically distinct from the European, is the B.flaves-cens (Lesueur). The color varies from brownish with yellowish sides to whitish with brownish patches; the immature fish is of a uniform dark slate color, sometimes with transverse yellow bands; the dorsal, caudal, and anal fins are bordered with bluish black, and edged with white; the dorsal and anal are continued to the base of the tail. The length of the fish varies from 2 to 3 ft. and more, one of the first dimensions weighing about 4 lbs. It is taken generally on the middle bank, with the hook, by the deepwater cod-fishers. In spring it is seen in the Boston market, when it is less esteemed than cod, but in winter it commands a higher price; as a fresh fish it is considered a delicacy, and salted is generally preferred to cod. It is found along the shore of the British provinces, and even in high latitudes.
The European species, B. vulgaris (Cuv.), called torsk or tusk, is also a northern fish, plentiful among the Shetland islands, where it forms a considerable article of trade; it is caught, salted, and dried in the same manner as cod; it is common on the coasts of Norway, Iceland, and the Faroe islands. It resembles very much the B. flavescens, and the two are considered by some as varieties of one species.
American Cusk (Brosimus flavescens).