Black Cod (Sablefish)
A truly well-managed deep water species, trap and longline-caught off the California coastline, sablefish are commonly known as black cod but do not actually belong to the cod family. They are, however, the highest valued fish per pound in Alaska and Pacific Coast commercial fisheries. Sought after in Japan and around the world, sablefish boast pure white fillets that have a moist, buttery, delicate flavor and high healthy fat content. For this reason, sablefish is also often referred to as “butter fish” on menus.
California sablefish are harvested year round when weather conditions permits, and typically run from 2-15 pounds in size. While the more temperate waters off California do not provide the conditions for these fish to grow to the higher 15-25 pound range of sablefish in Alaskan waters, they do provide the same quality of meat. Nearly nearly an entire sablefish can be used for a variety of sushi and cooking applications, including the collar, eggs and liver.
The largest available populations of sablefish in Southern California are offshore of Santa Barbara where crews face some of the most difficult variable weather environments of the state. Fishermen typically pick a 48 hour window to set out beyond the Channel Islands and hopefully meet their weekly quota of 2,000 pounds. Longlines are set in deep water, limiting incidental bycatch and nearly eliminating the chance of any incidental turtle bycatch. The Southern California sablefish fishery has become a successful dual agency management model, with both the California Fish and Game and NOAA overseeing. Most of the fishing is done in federal waters under the NOAA jurisdiction whose federal mandate is to eliminate overfishing and rebuild stocks.
Year round, weather dependent
Primary Product FormsWhole, G&G, H&G (J-cut)
H&G (J-cut), Fillet
Day Boat, Long Line
From California to Alaska
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