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The name cabezon literally means “big headed” or "stubborn" in Spanish. And big headed it is, so much that this fish has the capacity of swallowing small abalone and regurgitating the shells. This scaleless fish has a frightening appearance, with 11 spines on its dorsal fin, a spine before the eye, and an rear spine of soft rays. Cabezon can reach up to 25 pounds in weight, and while most males are reddish in color, females are usually greenish.
Culinary Tips: Cabezon has a mild flavor and color similar to rockfish, but a denser texture more like salmon when cooked. For this reason you can cook cabezon any way you like, it can even hold up on the grill compared to other groundfish.
Catch Method: Rod & reel, trap
Sustainability: Cabezon represents a small fishery in California, so we could benefit from more data on the species. But the fishing methods create minimal bycatch or habitat effects, and fisheries scientists believe the population is "likely healthy", so it is considered a sustainable species.
- MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Good Alternative
- NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index: 4 out of 4