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California Swordfish

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Product Descriptions

Catalina Offshore sources its 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 as a sustainably fished resource.

The swordfish is named after its sharp bill, which resembles a sword. Together with its streamlined physique, the bill allows it 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 have impaled their swords into the ocean bottom up to their eyes.

Swordfish are found worldwide in temperate and tropical waters. They are believed to prefer waters where the surface temperature is above 58F. 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 surface and near-surface waters 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 is the powerful jumping 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 targeted in the summer months when warmer waters bring the fish to the surface.

Catalina Offshore works with specific trusted local boats that ensure quality handling and responsible fishing practices. Overall, Pacific Swordfish populations are considered in healthier numbers than Atlantic Swordfish, but recent attention to the Swordfish Fishery in general has brought greater regulatory and public interest. This has worked in favor of the fishery to ensure sustainability and to minimize environmental impacts.

Seafood Watch rates swordfish drift gillnet fisheries from California as "Good Alternative" (yellow). Blue Ocean Institute rates swordfish fisheries from the Pacific as "Light Green." Swordfish has a firm meaty texture and sweet and robust flavor which allows for a variety of applications. However, the large size of the loins and compact flexh, makes steaks the common presentation choice.

Product Videos

Broadbill, Espada, Emperado, Shutome
Xiphias gladius
Year Round, August-Febuary primary months
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Primary Product Forms

H&G, Loins, Steaks
Steaks and Loins
Drift net, Harpoon, Long Line

Harvest Area:

global supply
California
Good (Click for more info)

Product Profile

Full

Firm

Featured Recipe

Garam Masala Swordfish

with Organic Fingerling Potato Salad with White Corn, Shaved Fennel, Thai Basil & Tangelo Segments
view more

Cooking Methods