I almost gave up on finding local sablefish. Also known as black cod, sablefish was a tasty staple of our program last year, but unfortunately it has been extremely hard to come by this year. Although it’s a year-round fishery, we haven’t featured it since November due to the recent changes in regulation and rebuilding plan resulting in drastically lower quotas for the next 4-years. As a result very few fishermen are fishing for it. Sablefish is highly prized for its intensely rich, buttery flavor – hence the nickname “butterfish” – and for its surprisingly delicate texture. Although commonly called “black cod,” this deep-sea fish, which can live at depths over 5,000 feet (1,500 metres) is not part of the cod family. Sablefish have a charcoal gray body with a pale grey or white belly. Their sleek bodies are covered with very fine scales (no need to scale them) that feel vaguely furry to the touch. Sablefish inhabit shelf and deep-sea waters from central Baja California to Japan and the Bering Sea (where the majority are caught). Sablefish can live for over 90 years, but females reach maturity at only 3-5 years, meaning there is plenty of opportunity for them to reproduce over the course of their lives.
In addition, as part of our effort to reduce waste we will have close to zero waste this week! All the waste associated with filleting is being used by our crab fishermen!