LING 1 (Molva vulgaris), a fish of the family Gadidae, which is readily recognized by its long body, two dorsal fins (of which the anterior is much shorter than the posterior), single long anal fin, separate caudal fin, a barbel on the chin and large teeth in the lower jaw and on the palate. Its usual length is from 3 to 4 ft., but individuals of 5 or 6 ft. in length, and some 70 ft in weight, have been taken. The ling is found in the North Atlantic, from Spitzbergen and Iceland southwards to the coast of Portugal. Its proper home is the North Sea, especially on the coasts of Norway, Denmark, Great Britain and Ireland, it occurs in great abundance, generally at some distance from the land, in depths varying between 50 and 100 fathoms. During the winter months it approaches the shores, when great numbers are caught by means of long lines. On the American side of the Atlantic it is less common, although generally distributed along the south coast of Greenland and on the banks of Newfoundland. Ling is one of the most valuable species of the cod-fish family; a certain number are consumed fresh, but by far the greater portion are prepared for exportation to various countries (Germany, Spain, Italy). They are either salted and sold as " salt-fish," or split from head to tail and dried, forming, with similarly prepared cod and coal-fish, the article of which during Lent immense quantities are consumed in Germany and elsewhere under the name of " stock-fish." The oil is frequently extracted from the liver and used by the poorer classes of the coast population for the lamp or as medicine.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)