or Black Cod
sablefish does resemble
cod, it does not belong to the codfish family. It's a member
of the Anoplopomatidae family, a group of fish confined to the North
in the Eastern
Pacific ocean from Mexico to Alaska's Aleutian Island chain. They are
the opportunistic feeders, their diet consists of pollock, flounders,
herring, as well as sea anemones. There have even been small bits of
fur and bird remnants. Scientists conducted a study in 1982
and found that when deprived of food for up to five months did not show
any signs of stress!
Unfortunately, not much is known about
the breeding and spawning habits of the sable fish.
the black cod can attain
a length of 40 inches and
may weigh up to 40
the average commercially-caught
sablefish measures about two feet long and weighs less than 10 pounds.
of black cod harvest
here in North America is
exported to Japan where it is prized for it's
buttery flavor. It is used both in Sushi and cooked dishes.
to its rich oil content,
sablefish is exceptionally flavorful and an excellent fish for smoking
and most of the sablefish consumed here in the U.S. is smoked.
From the Oregonian newspaper, Feb. 15, 2006:
Japan have long coveted the sweet, flaky sablefish, also listed on U.S.
butterfish or blackcod. Long popular in Hawaii, the fish has been
discovered by gourmets elsewhere in the U.S., too: Bon Appetit
rates sablefish one of its Top 10 "It-grediants" of the
as a targeted fishery did not gain much attention until the
redistribution of the salmon fisheries in the 1980's. We purchased
the F/V Western Skies in 1979 and for years, were one of the few
off the coast of the Pacific Northwest. Entry into the black cod
was supposed to be curtailed decades ago, but only recently was a
implemented. Today, the state of Alaska has an Individual Fishermen's
(IFQ) developed on the vessel's historical catch that has served
the industry well in both human safety and management of the resource.
The lower 48 has developed a tiered system based on catch as well.
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