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sablefish
(aka black cod)

FAQs

How to thaw and store sablefish 

is sablefish sushi grade? 

How do I cook sablefish?

Are there bones in sablefish portions? 

Does sablefish (aka black cod) taste similar to other kind of cod? what flavor should i expect?

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About our sablefish fishery

MethoD

Under Alaska state regulation, theres two methods we are allowed to utilize when harvesting sablefish: hooks, and pots. Both are considered "longlining" -- a fishery where a long (about 2.5 miles long!) line, called the "ground line" is set along the seafloor. Either hooks or pots are clipped onto the ground line at even increments along it's entire distance (as a visual, think charms on a charm bracelet!) Each end of the ground line is attached to a section of buoy line, which spans the distance from the seafloor to the surface. The "bottom end" of our buoy line is attached to the ground line, about a half mile down below the surface -- and the "top end" is attached to a series of buoys and flagpoles on the surface of the sea. We use a large, hydraulic reel called a "hauler" to bring the line up from the depths of the ocean to the surface. Hooks are individually baited by hand with a chunk of raw bait, and pots are baited with "chewy bags" -- mesh bags filled with fish product. As the pots or hooks reach the surface, they're unsnapped from the ground line, and set aside to be re-baited for the next go-around. Hauling one "set" (section of ground line plus it's buoy line) takes about five hours. 

Management

Sablefish stocks are closely monitored by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. We possess a Northern Southeast Inside Subdistrict (NSEI) Sablefish fishery permit. There are only 73 permits to participate in that fishery, and the allowable catch is divided evenly amongst the 73 permits. The fishery opens on August 15th, and is open through November 15th. Unlike most of our fisheries (shrimp, lingcod, king salmon) where the allowable catch (or quota) is caught on a first come first served basis, our permit guarantees us 1/73rd of the overall quota, to be caught at our leisure. We head to Chatham inlet to catch our black cod in early October, after we've finished salmon fishing. We fill out logbooks daily, noting the latitude and longitude of each set, length of set, number of hooks/pots ran, number of fish retained, number released, average size, and sex.

Region

 

Our NSEI sablefish permit allows us to fish the waters of Fredrick Sound, Stevens passage, Lynn Canal, Icy Strait, and Chatham Strait. We choose to fish in Chatham Strait! 

Sustainability

Since our fish are all caught by hook or pot, any unwanted catch (aka "by-catch") can be safely returned to the sea. Detailed harvest data allows Alaska Fish and Game to have a clear picture of how the stock is faring, and to make management decisions accordingly. The NSEI sablefish stock is doing quite well, and quotas have been increasing in recent years as the stock health and size improves. 

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