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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
Black Cod / Anoplopoma fimbria

Black cod, also known as sablefish or butterfish due to its velvety texture, which results from a rich content of healthy oils and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Most Black cod is shipped to Japan, where their seafood loving culture snaps it up. It’s becoming more prevalent here, as Japanese chefs have...

Black cod, also known as sablefish or butterfish due to its velvety texture, which results from a rich content of healthy oils and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Most Black cod is shipped to Japan, where their seafood loving culture snaps it up. It’s becoming more prevalent here, as Japanese chefs have introduced it to Americans, most often as Miso-Glazed Black Cod or simmered in a Japanese style broth. 

Culinary Tips: Because of its cold water habitat Black cod is packed with healthy oils which protect it from over-cooking and keeps the fish moist. We recommend baking, roasting, or grilling it with big flavors.

It is also fantastic when smoked - try our Good Food Award-winning Carmel Canyon Smoked Black Cod!

Catch Method: Bottom trawl, bottom longlines, and pots.

Sustainability: The sablefish population off the California coast is extremely healthy at 96% of its target level and is harvested at sustainable rates (NOAA FishWatch). Black Cod in California is is part of the California Groundfish Collective which is particularly effective at collecting data and designing sustainable management strategies.

- MBA Seafood Watch rating: Best Choice and Good Alternative

- NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index: 4 out of 4

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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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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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Thornyhead, Shortspine and Longspine / Sebastolobus alascanus and Sebastolobus altivelis

Also known as idiot, channel rockfish, fagiano ("pheasant" in Italian), bonehead, channel cod, gurnard, gurnet, hardhead, hooligan, idiotfish, lobe-finned rockfish, roundfin rockfish, scorpion, slim thornhead, spinycheeked rockfish, and thornhead. Thornyhead are particularly interesting because...

Also known as idiot, channel rockfish, fagiano ("pheasant" in Italian), bonehead, channel cod, gurnard, gurnet, hardhead, hooligan, idiotfish, lobe-finned rockfish, roundfin rockfish, scorpion, slim thornhead, spinycheeked rockfish, and thornhead. Thornyhead are particularly interesting because they have adapted to the deep “oxygen minimum” layer of the ocean where most fish cannot thrive. It has a huge head, both long and wide, housing very large gills.

It lives in the North Pacific, some as far south as the Mexican border, but most ranging from Northern California to Canada and from Russia as far south as northern Japan. In addition, thornyheads do not have swim bladders and are fairly hardy, which means unlike many other species that are brought up from the depths, they can be kept alive for live fish markets or released after capture with a much higher survival rate.

Lifespan: 80 to 100 years (shortspine) 45 years (longspine)

Size: Up to 2.5 feet and 25 lbs

Distribution: Found on the ocean floor in low oxygen environments down to 5,000 ft.

How fished: Rod and reel, trawl, longline

Why sustainable: NOAA fisheries did an assessment in 2013 that found thornyhead stocks to be healthy

MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Green

NOAA FishWatch rating: Not rated

Nutrition (per 100g): Calories 82, Total Fat 0.63g, Cholesterol 37mg, Selenium 36.5mcg, Sodium 71mg, Protein 17.9g

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