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Real Good Fish | Fish Species | | Fish Species | Bringing you the freshest sustainably caught LOCAL seafood!
“If we eat from our own shores, we're much more inclined to protect them, the water quality, and our marine environment.”
- Paul Greenberg, American Catch
Opah / Lampris guttatus

Also called moonfish, this colorful and large species is one of only two living species in the Genus Lampris. They live in deep tropical and temperate waters around the world and can easily weigh over 200lbs. Opah are often found swimming with schools of Bigeye Tuna in the eastern Pacific Ocean,...

Also called moonfish, this colorful and large species is one of only two living species in the Genus Lampris. They live in deep tropical and temperate waters around the world and can easily weigh over 200lbs. Opah are often found swimming with schools of Bigeye Tuna in the eastern Pacific Ocean, which is why we usually see them as bycatch from Tuna boats. 

Opah has recently become popular in seafood restaurants but is still relatively unknown outside of Hawaii and southern California. They have three distinct types of flesh that all appear different and cook differently too.

Culinary Tips: Opah is one of the most versatile species on earth, not just in the sea! The salmon-colored top loin is firm and lean and is best grilled or seared. The belly which is a lighter orange/pink color is fantastic for raw preparations, or even for smoking or curing. The deep, red, beef-like abductor muscle (usually called the "cheek") is like a lean, tender flank steak and should be prepared as such.

Catch Method: Pelagic long lines

Sustainability: Since Opah is usually a bycatch species from well-managed Tuna fisheries, we are eager to sell it and provide those fishermen more value for their trip. The management of this fleet is rated as "highly effective" and the longlines used to catch Opah are designed to minimize bycatch as much as possible (Seafood Watch). 

>MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Good Alternative

>NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index: N/A

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Pacific Herring / Clupea pallasii

Believe it or not, Pacific herring is a keystone species. That means that herring have a disproportionately large effect over their environment relative to their abundance because they are an important prey species and an important predator.

Pacific herring prefer breeding in bays and estuaries,...

Believe it or not, Pacific herring is a keystone species. That means that herring have a disproportionately large effect over their environment relative to their abundance because they are an important prey species and an important predator.

Pacific herring prefer breeding in bays and estuaries, making the California coast a favorite location for them to spawn. A single female can lay up to 20,000 eggs in one spawn. Interestingly, most herring are not caught for their flesh, but rather over 90% are caught for their roe (the eggs inside of them) that is exported to Japan. Japanese traditionally eat herring roe, or kazunoko, at the start of a new year because it symbolizes prosperity. To fill their demand for it, the Japanese turned to the United States and set off a "silver rush" in San Francisco and Tomales Bays that led to fishing limits on Pacific herring in 1973. Since then, local herring have been harvested mostly for their high-priced roe, with the rest made into fertilizer, and fish meal that is fed to pigs, chickens, pets and farmed fish. It's also used for bait in other fisheries. Visit this article in the San Francisco Chronicle about how Nor Cal chefs are using local herring.  

Lifespan: 8 to 16 years

Size: 18 inches and 1.5 lbs

Distribution: Found from the surface to depths of 400 m. They also migrate inshore to spawn in estuaries.

Why sustainable: Well managed fishery with reliable stock assessments is recovering. Fishing is only allowed in Tomales and San Francisco Bays. Bycatch is low; roe is in demand while rest of the fish is underutilized

How fished: Gillnets or purse seines

MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Best Choice

NOAA FishWatch Rating: Not rated

Nutrition: Good source of vitamin B6, phosphorus, protein, vitamin B12, and selenium

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Swordfish / Xiphias gladius

One of the fastest and largest predators, swordfish have bodies that allow them to reach up to 50 mph. It is one of several large species known as billfish, which use their bills to slash at and stun their prey. They have unique features, such as special eye muscles and a heat exchange system...

One of the fastest and largest predators, swordfish have bodies that allow them to reach up to 50 mph. It is one of several large species known as billfish, which use their bills to slash at and stun their prey. They have unique features, such as special eye muscles and a heat exchange system that allows them to swim into deep waters for prey. Also, unlike fish, adults have no teeth or scales. Their hunting abilities allow them to grow quickly, reaching up to 15 feet in length and weighs of up to 1,400 pounds. Swordfish reach maturity at five to six years of age and spawn several times in the Spring and Summer in temperate waters off the Californian coast. They are great nomads, they can be found in all the oceans of the world, migrating thousands of miles every year. They feed on fish and invertebrates, such as squid and jellyfish.

Swordfish are at the top of the food chain, rarely preyed by other animals except for humans, though juveniles can be attacked by sharks and other large predators. One of the most well known behaviors of swordfish is their spectacular and powerful jumping abilities, also known as breaching.

Lifespan: 9 years

Size: Up to 15 ft and 1,433 lbs

Distribution: Travel mainly in mid-water depths, but can swim down to 650+ meters

How fished: Harpoon, rod and reel, gillnet, pelagic longline, and deep-set buoy gear

Why sustainable: The North Pacific population of swordfish is above its target population level and is harvested at sustainable levels. Harpoon and hand-line caught swordfish have little to no bycatch. The drift gillnet fishery for swordfish off California has also implemented many measures to reduce bycatch. This includes onboard observers in the drift gillnet fishery. Regulations prohibit fishing with drift gillnets north of Point Conception, California, from August 15 through October 31 to protect leatherback sea turtles. Regulations also include specific gear requirements for drift gillnets (e.g., pingers that emit sound to deter marine mammals, and net extenders that drop the net below the surface to allow marine mammals to pass without being entangled). Finally, if the fishery hits a certain level of bycatch the fishery is closed down for the rest of the year.

MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Best Choice - Harpoon or Handline
Good Alternative - Drift Gillnet or Longline

NOAA FishWatch Rating: Not overfished Nutrition (per 100g): Calories 121, Total Fat 4.01g, Cholesterol 39mg, Selenium 48.1mcg, Sodium 90mg, Protein 19.8g

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