Sablefish

 

Also called "Blackcod" or gindara.  It is one of two members of the fish family Anoplopomatidae and the only species in the Anoplopoma genus. The sablefish is found in the deep sea beds of the North Pacific.

The Meat:

If you like sweet, thick flaking, buttery slabs of fish this is for you. I have had most success with grilling or broiling sablefish.

Prep:

Sablefish will always come to you filleted.

Health concerns:

I honestly don't know. Sablefish can live up to 113 years and they do eat a lot of other fish.

Gear and fishery info:

The sablefish you will be getting form me are either hook and line caught, long lined, trap caught, or Scottish seined. All of these are minimal impact gear types. The sablefish fishery is doing quite well, or so say the experts who are running things. Even the small-scale sablefish fisherman has to jump through quite a few hoops in order to get his fish to the market. The main thing he has to have is a vessel monitoring system (VMS) onboard the boat. This device monitors his every move on the water, outside 3 miles, so fisheries managers can tell exactly where/when he fishes. It's a huge hassle for the fisherman so we want to take that into account when we are eating these fish.  Sablefish are a long lived species but they arrive at sexual maturity reasonably quickly, which is probably why the stocks seem to be able to withstand fishing pressure.

Fish Nerdism 101:

Sablefish are fond of extremely deep water. By deep, I'm talking very deep. For big females 4,000 feet is the happy place. The biggest black cod ever caught was about 50 pounds. Females tend to be bigger than males.

Facts:
  • Scientific Name:             Anoplopoma Fimbria

 

  • Habitat:  The sable fish is found in muddy sea beds in the North Pacific at depths of 300 to 2,700 m (1000 to 9000 ft)

 

  • Diet:  Adult sablefish are opportunistic feeders, preying on fish (including walleye pollock, eulachon, capelin, herring, sandlance, and Pacific cod), squid, euphausiids, jellyfish

 

  • Size:  to 10.5 inches (27 cm)

 

  • Range:  The sable fish is found in the northeastern Pacific Ocean from northern Mexico to the Gulf of Alaska, westward to the Aleutian Islands and into the Bering Sea.

2010 - present

2010 - present

Parting Shots

What's in a name? You will notice I am going with the less commonly used, “sablefish” not “blackcod.” My reasoning here is simple. The last thing we need is another fish that isn't a cod, being referred to as a cod. There's also the black rockfish thing. Black rockfish are often called black rockcod, and occasionally certain miscreants in local fish markets will misname black rockfish, “black cod.” Arrrrrgggghhh! I am hoping to circumvent any and all confusion by utilizing the approved common name of the species: sablefish, and would encourage all of you to use it as well!