Catalina Offshore sources Pacific swordfish locally in California, whenever it is seasonally available. The California fishery is managed by National Marine Fisheries, which considers swordfish stocks in healthy condition and rates it a sustainable resource.
The swordfish is named after its sharp bill, which resembles a sword. Together with its streamlined physique, the bill allows the fish to cut through the water with great ease and agility. Swordfish are vigorous, powerful fighters. When hooked or harpooned, they have been known to dive so quickly that they end up fully impaling their bills into the ocean floor.
Swordfish has a firm meaty texture and sweet and robust flavor which allows for a variety of applications. However, a steak cut is the most popular presentation of this fish due to the large size and compact flesh of its loins.
Swordfish are found worldwide in temperate and tropical waters. They are believed to prefer waters where the surface temperature is above 58 F. However, because they have a heat-exchange system and are capable of maintaining an elevated body temperature, they can extend their hunting range into colder deep water.
Swordfish feed daily, most often at night when they rise to near-surface in search of smaller fish. They have been observed moving through schools of fish, thrashing their swords to kill or stun their prey and then quickly turning to consume their catch. They are frequently found basking at the surface, airing their first dorsal fin. Fishermen report this to be a beautiful sight, as are the powerful jumping displays for which the species is known.
Swordfish off the California coast are part of a highly regulated fishery. Drift nets are allowed seasonally from mid August thru January. Traditional harpoon fishery is open year round, but primarily in the summer months when warmer waters bring the fish to the surface. Overall, Pacific swordfish populations are considered in healthier numbers than Atlantic swordfish, but historic attention to the fishery as a whole has brought greater regulatory and public interest. This has worked in favor of swordfish on both coasts to ensure sustainability and to minimize environmental impacts.
Year Round, August-Febuary primary months
Primary Product FormsH&G, Loins, Steaks
Steaks and Loins
Drift net, Harpoon, Long Line
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