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Opah – The Fish

A cold-water fish with a warm heart

Opah are beautiful fish about the size of a car tire, also known as moonfish. Averaging around 100 pounds and 3 feet long when they land at the docks, these fish are silver with pink scales, white spots, red mouths and fins, and large, gold-rimmed eyes.

Opah are the first fish discovered to have a warm heart, meaning they can circulate heated blood throughout their body. This physiological adaptation is linked to a culinary distinction – creating one fish with many types of meat. Opah have seven distinct cuts that range from sashimi-quality top loin to dark, lean flanks that could pass for beef or pork.

Catalina Offshore’s Tommy Gomes breaks down a whole opah

Meet the Fishmonger: Tommy Gomes


Tommy Gomes is a fifth-generation commercial fishermen who was raised working alongside his father, uncles and cousins in San Diego’s historic tuna fleets. Hired by Catalina Offshore in 2003 as a fish filleter, he evolved into the company’s trusted fishmonger and public face. Today he is a beloved fixture in the local food community, recognized across the country as a sustainable seafood advocate and leading voice in seafood education. His pioneering approach to Pacific opah opened a culinary market for several edible parts of the fish that are typically discarded. This has played a key role in Catalina Offshore’s work with NOAA fisheries in broadening the appeal of opah, reducing waste and increasing the value of San Diego fisheries.

Opah Cutting Guide



More About the Opah

The Fishery

The Food

The Science