Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Sablefish/Black Cod

© Monterey Bay Aquarium
SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Sablefish Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Alaska & Black Cod, Butterfish, Gindara, Sable Marine Stewardship Council Certified Wild
Sablefish/Black Cod Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Alaska & Black Cod, Butterfish, Gindara, Sable Alaska, Canadian Pacific Wild
Sablefish/Black Cod Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Black Cod, Butterfish, Gindara, Sable California, Oregon, Washington Wild


Sablefish, Wild, Canadian Pacific & U.S. Pacific

Sablefish from Alaska and British Columbia is a "Best Choice" and is certified sustainable to the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Consumer Note

Sablefish is also known as black cod and butterfish. It's known as gindara when prepared for sushi.

Summary

Found only in the North Pacific, sablefish has a rich, buttery flesh that's made it popular with consumers and restaurateurs.

The fisheries in Alaska and British Columbia are well-managed, use pots and bottom longlines, and have low bycatch. Seabird bycatch, a past concern, has been reduced in the Alaskan fishery by improved management.

In contrast, the bottom trawls used in the West Coast fisheries (California, Oregon and Washington) cause habitat damage. In addition, bottom trawls and bottom longlines used in this region result in bycatch of vulnerable species, including depleted rockfish.

Consumers can look for sablefish from Alaska and British Columbia as a "Best Choice," while sablefish from California, Oregon and Washington are a "Good Alternative."


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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat