Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Totoaba

© Monterey Bay Aquarium
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Totoaba Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Mexican Giant Bass, Cabaicucho Gulf of California Wild


Totoaba, Wild, Gulf of California

Totoaba is a protected species in the U.S. and Mexico and is considered vulnerable to global extinction.

Consumer Note

All totoaba available in the market has been caught illegally.

Summary

Totoaba or Mexican giant bass reach 6.5 feet and weigh 220 pounds.

Found only in the Gulf of California, they spawn just once a year and don't reach sexual maturity until they're six or seven years old. Their spawning and nursery habitats in the Colorado River delta have been degraded by upstream diversions of the river, which have lowered the freshwater flow in the region. For all these reasons, totoaba are especially vulnerable to overfishing.

Totoaba have been overfished. The fishery began in the 1900s, and by the 1960s the population was in serious decline. Illegal fishing continues, and juveniles are often caught accidentally in some shrimp fisheries.


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