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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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California Halibut / Paralichthys californicus

This bottom-dwelling flatfish is native to the waters off central and southern California, can weigh up to 50 pounds, and is loved by sport fishermen since it can occasionally be caught from shore or by kayak in shallow waters. It is actually more closely related to a flounder rather than the...

This bottom-dwelling flatfish is native to the waters off central and southern California, can weigh up to 50 pounds, and is loved by sport fishermen since it can occasionally be caught from shore or by kayak in shallow waters. It is actually more closely related to a flounder rather than the Pacific halibut which resides in waters farther north along the west coast. California halibut is caught year-round, but it is most commonly landed in the summer and early fall.

Culinary Tips: There is no wrong way to prepare California halibut. It is delicate enough steam or shallow poach, but is also one of the only flatfish robust enough to handle the grill too. It can also be prepared raw for any recipe calling for fluke, flounder or the Japanese translation - "hirame".

Catch Method: Trolling Lines and Bottom Trawling

Sustainability: Landings of California halibut have stayed consistent in recent years which indicates that populations are not being depleted. The catch methods do not generate significant amounts of bycatch, and the management by the California Department of Fish and Game is effective and keeps fishermen accountable.

>MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Best Choice or Good Alternative

>NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index: N/A

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Lingcod / Ophiodon elongatus

Prior to cooking, the lingcod’s flesh can be either blue or green. Not all are, though. And after cooking, they'll turn white.

Nicknamed buckethead, the lingcod is native to the North American Pacific coast and is neither ling nor cod, but its name originated because it somewhat resembles those...

Prior to cooking, the lingcod’s flesh can be either blue or green. Not all are, though. And after cooking, they'll turn white.

Nicknamed buckethead, the lingcod is native to the North American Pacific coast and is neither ling nor cod, but its name originated because it somewhat resembles those fish. Newborns live near the surface, juveniles prefer sandy bottoms and kelp beds, and young adults settle in rocky habitats or kelp beds, where food is more abundant.

Lingcod fillets are can be surprising on first glance since sometimes they can be bright blue or green. Aside from their unusual coloration, lingcod support a popular sport fishery on the west coast.

Culinary Tips: Lingcod is a lean, white fleshed fish that has a mild flavor and cooks to a medium-firm texture with a nice flake. It can be substituted for any recipe calling for rockfish or halibut.

Catch Method: Hook and line and bottom trawl

Sustainability: Biomass off the US West Coast is high. They have very high reproduction rates. Lingcod are caught with gear that have little impact on habitats and very low accidental catch. Management is strong, with seasonal closures during spawning season. 

>MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Best Choice and Good Alternative 

>NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index: 4 out of 4

 

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Rockfish / Genus Sebastes and Sebastolobus

There are more than seventy rockfish species native to the Pacific coast of the U.S. and we offer, but are not limited to, the following species: Chilipepper Rockfish, Black Rockfish, Boccaccio Rockfish, Splitnose Rockfish, Vermillion Rockfish, Gopher Rockfish. "Rock Cod" or "Pacific Snapper"...

There are more than seventy rockfish species native to the Pacific coast of the U.S. and we offer, but are not limited to, the following species: Chilipepper Rockfish, Black Rockfish, Boccaccio Rockfish, Splitnose Rockfish, Vermillion Rockfish, Gopher Rockfish. "Rock Cod" or "Pacific Snapper" are other local nicknames for rockfish species. The southern half of the California coast has the most rockfish diversity anywhere, with at least 56 different species known. 

Rockfish earned their name because they are bottom-dwelling species that prefer rocky areas. Fish species in this genus have some of the longest lifespans of any fish on earth, and some have been recorded to live up to 205 years. These long life-spans made it difficult for some species to absorb industrial fishing pressures that peaked in the 1980's and '90's, and many rockfish species became overfished. Today though, Pacific groundfish populations like rockfish have largely recovered due to strict management and responsible fishermen.

Culinary Tips: All rockfish species have a mild flavor, cook to a medium firmness, and flake nicely. Larger fillets can be dredged in flour and pan fried, while smaller rockfish are delicous cooked whole. Rockfish is also delicous served raw in a ceviche.

Catch Method: Bottom and midwater trawls, rod and reel, and traps

Sustainability: Rockfish fisheries are highly regulated under both state and federal laws. In federal waters, the rockfish trawl fishery is part of the Catch Shares program, with 100% observer coverage. Hook and line caught rockfish has very low bycatch rates. A growing number of Pacific rockfish fisheries on the west coast are becoming Marine Stewardship Council certified for sustainability

>MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Good Alternative and Best Choice

>NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index: 2.5 - 4 out of 4

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Sanddabs / Citharichthys sordidus

Native to the northern Pacific, this flatfish has the ability to change its color and pattern to match its surroundings, making it virtually invisible to predators.

Pacific Sand Dabs are a local delicacy and a favorite of many people. They feed on shellfish, squid and octopus, making them one of...

Native to the northern Pacific, this flatfish has the ability to change its color and pattern to match its surroundings, making it virtually invisible to predators.

Pacific Sand Dabs are a local delicacy and a favorite of many people. They feed on shellfish, squid and octopus, making them one of the sweetest and tastiest fish available.

Culinary Tips: We recommend a quick cooking method and light flavor pairings. They are best when fried on the bone (aka "Pan Ready") or as fillets. 

Catch Method: Bottom Trawl, Trap or Hook and Line

Sustainability: Consistent landings indicate that populations are stable. Hook and line and trap fishing has minimal bycatch with the ability to throw back juvenile fish. Bottom trawling for sanddabs is highly regulated under the catch shares program, which has reduced fishing pressure.

- MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Best Choice

- NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index: 2.5 out of 4 

 

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Spot Prawn/Pandalus platyceros

 

Spot prawns are actually a large shrimp. The fishery originated in the early 1930's in Monterey when they were caught incidentally in octopus traps. It was a minor fishery until the early 1970's, when trawl fishing for them began. In 1974, trawl fishermen fishing out of Santa Barbara caught...

 

Spot prawns are actually a large shrimp. The fishery originated in the early 1930's in Monterey when they were caught incidentally in octopus traps. It was a minor fishery until the early 1970's, when trawl fishing for them began. In 1974, trawl fishermen fishing out of Santa Barbara caught over 182,000 pounds of spot prawns, and trawl landings steadily grew as more fishermen entered the fishery and new areas were explored, reaching a peak of more than 375,000 pounds in 1981. After that, landings fell drastically, causing intermittent closures of the fishery to allow for population recovery. In 2003, the California Fish and Game Commission banned the practice of trawling for prawns, citing concerns about damage to the sea floor and the high bycatch. Today, the majority of spot prawns are caught in Southern California. Trapping spot prawns is considered a sustainable, low environmental impact fishing method, and the pots themselves help protect the fishery. Each is assembled by hand with careful construction that enables prawns smaller than one inch to escape and reach maturity. 

MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Good Alternative

NOAA Fishwatch Rating: Not rated

Nutrition: Nutrition (per 100g): Protein 21.6g; Calories 100.8; Total Fat 1.2g 

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Starry Flounder / Platichthys stellatus

Along the coast of California, half the population of starry flounder is right-eyed and the other half is left-eyed. Also known as the California flounder, they spawn near river mouths and sloughs. Juveniles are found only in estuaries, and while adults can be found in ocean waters 1,200 feet...

Along the coast of California, half the population of starry flounder is right-eyed and the other half is left-eyed. Also known as the California flounder, they spawn near river mouths and sloughs. Juveniles are found only in estuaries, and while adults can be found in ocean waters 1,200 feet deep, they are estuary-dependent for reproduction. Much like chameleons and other species, they can change coloration to blend in with their surroundings, making them practically invisible to avoid predators. Yet they succumb to the appetites of marine mammals such as sea lions and seals. They feed primarily on zooplankton, small fish and crustaceans, amphipods, and copepods.

They are abundant in California's central coast area, mostly due to the many rivers, sloughs, and estuaries, such as the Santa Ynez River and Elkhorn Slough.

Lifespan: Up to 42 years

Size: Up to 3 feet and 11 lbs

Distribution: Found on soft bottoms up to 1,230 feet deep

How fished: Trawling and longline

Why sustainable: Starry flounder biomass has been increasing since 1997. This species is not in high demand commercially and therefore fishing pressure is low.

MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Good Alternative

NOAA FishWatch Rating: Not overfished

Nutrition (per 100g): Calories 91, Total Fat 1.19 g, Cholesterol 48mg, Omega-3 0.2g, Selenium 32.7mcg, Sodium 81mg, Protein 18.84g

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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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