The annual Alaska halibut and sablefish (black cod) harvest seasons began March 24, bringing world-renowned Alaska whitefish to restaurants and retailers across the country. These two, delicious species, while caught during the same season, offer different merchandising and menuing opportunities throughout the spring and summer. Both species are available fresh spring through fall, and frozen year-round.
Wild Alaska halibut is an elegant whitefish with a slightly sweet flavor and unique firm texture that is a favorite with chefs and consumers. A naturally lean fish that is a good source of potassium and magnesium. It is low in overall calories, fat and sodium. Wild Alaska sablefish (black cod) has a beautiful snow-white fillet and perfect flake. Succulent and rich in flavor, sablefish is perfect for grilling, poaching, smoking or roasting. Alaska sablefish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and is an excellent source of high-quality protein.
“Alaska fishermen set the standard for the best sustainable wild-capture fishing practices in the world,” says Victoria Parr, domestic marketing director, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). “More than just a way to make a living, fishing for halibut and sablefish or any heirloom species in Alaska, is a tradition that supports entire communities. It’s a way of life here in Alaska.”
Alaska is the only state with sustainability written into its constitution and has been practicing science-based fisheries management for decades. To preserve their way of life for future generations, Alaska fishermen limit their harvest to the statewide total allowable catch set by international, federal and state fisheries managers. In 2018, harvest levels are set at 33 million pounds for Alaska sablefish and 17.5 million pounds for Alaska halibut.
To make the most of this season’s catch, contact ASMI who can support your efforts with point-of-sale materials, training tools, cooking tips, recipes and market research. www.alaskaseafood.org
Try one of these easy recipes featuring Alaska halibut and sablefish (black cod) whitefish varieties:
Halibut: Sweet, with delicate flavor and a firm and flaky texture, halibut maintains its shape and is suitable for all types of cooking methods.
Sablefish (black cod): Succulent and rich in flavor, sablefish is perfect for grilling, poaching, smoking or roasting.
Recipe suggestion: Mahogany Alaska Black Cod