The feasibility of ranching wild cod in ‘herds’ was compared with three other scenarios: on-growing of wild cod in sea cages, full-cycle cod farming with hatchery produced juveniles, and commercial cod fishery. In the calculations it was assumed that an existing fishing company could either fish, ranch or on-grow 200 tons of cod quota to increase the quota yield or sell it to invest in full-cycle farming. The results indicate ranching to be the most profitable, fishing as the second and on-growing as the third, whereas full-cycle farming appears to be unrewarding. The net present value (NPV) of the four scenarios was €754 000, €532 000, €198 000 and €−95 000, respectively. Ranching based on aggregating and growing wild cod in a reserved coastal area with anthropogenic feeding thus has the potential of decreasing the cost of fishing, improving growth rate and enhancing quota yield without the investments required in conventional farming. As cod ranching is in the initial stages of development the risks are higher than in the well established cod fishery.