The sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) is one of two members of the fish family Anoplopomatidae and the only species in the genus Anoplopoma. In English, common names for it include sable (US), butterfish (US), black cod (US, UK, Canada), blue cod (UK), bluefish (UK), candlefish (UK), coal cod (UK), snowfish (?) (Thailand), coalfish (Canada), beshow, and skil (Canada), although many of these names also refer to other, unrelated, species. The US Food and Drug Administration accepts only "sablefish" as the Acceptable Market Name in the United States; "black cod" is considered a vernacular (regional) name and should not be used as a Statement of Identity for this species. The sablefish is found in muddy sea beds in the North Pacific Ocean at depths of 300 to 2,700 m (980 to 8,860 ft) and is commercially important to Japan.
Sablefish growth varies regionally, with larger maximum sizes in Alaska, where total lengths up to 114 cm (45 in) weights up to 25 kg (55 lb) have been recorded. However, average lengths are typically below 70 cm (28 in) and 4 kg (8.8 lb).
Tagging studies have indicated that sablefish have been observed to move as much as 2,000 km (1,200 mi) before recapture with one study estimating an average distance between release and recapture of 602 km (374 mi), with an average annual movement of 191 km (119 mi).
Sablefish resting on soft sediment 991 feet deep
Small sablefish caught in a bottom trawl survey off the coast of California
A tote of sablefish being processed in Juneau, Alaska.
Sablefish aquaculture is an area of active research.
Sablefish (gindara) kasuzuke from a market in San Francisco, California
The white flesh of the sablefish is soft-textured and mildly flavored. It is considered a delicacy in many countries.[which?] When cooked, its flaky texture is similar to Patagonian toothfish (Chilean sea bass). The meat has a high fat content and can be prepared in many ways, including grilling, smoking, or frying, or served as sushi. Sablefish flesh is high in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, and DHA. It contains about as much as wild salmon.
In Japanese cuisine, the black cod (gindara) is often cooked saikyo yaki style, marinated for several days in sweet white miso or sake lees (kasuzuke) then broiled. The Japanese-Peruvian-American chef Nobu Matsuhisa introduced his version of gindara saikyo yaki at his restaurant in Los Angeles, and brought it to his New York restaurant Nobu in 1994, where it is considered his signature dish, under the name "Black Cod with Miso".Kasuzuke sablefish is popular in Seattle thanks to a large Japanese community in that area.
Studies of accumulated mercury levels find average mercury concentrations from 0.1 ppm, 0.2 ppm, and up to 0.4 ppm. The US Food and Drug Administration puts sablefish in the "Good Choices" category in their guide for pregnant women and parents, and recommends one 4-ounce serving (uncooked) a week for an adult, less for children. On the other hand, the Alaska epidemiology section considers Alaska sablefish to be "low in mercury" and advises "unrestricted consumption" of sablefish for all populations.
^Yang, M-S and M. W. Nelson 2000. Food habits of the commercially important groundfishes in the Gulf of Alaska in 1990, 1993, and 1996. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-112. 174 p.
^Kimura, Daniel K., A. M. Shaw and F. R. Shaw 1998. Stock Structure and movement of tagged sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria, in offshore northeast Pacific waters and the effects of El Nino-Southern Oscillation on migration and growth. Fish. Bull. 96:462-481.
^Beamish, R. J.; McFarlane, C. A. (1988). "Resident and Dispersal Behavior of Adult Sablefish (Anaplopoma fimbria) in the Slope Waters off Canada's West Coast". Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 45 (1): 152-164. doi:10.1139/f88-017. ISSN0706-652X.
^Hanselman, Dana H.; Heifetz, Jonathan; Echave, Katy B.; Dressel, Sherri C. (2015). "Move it or lose it: movement and mortality of sablefish tagged in Alaska". Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 72 (2): 238-251. doi:10.1139/cjfas-2014-0251. ISSN0706-652X.
^Peterson, Megan J.; Carothers, Courtney (1 November 2013). "Whale interactions with Alaskan sablefish and Pacific halibut fisheries: Surveying fishermen perception, changing fishing practices and mitigation". Marine Policy. 42: 315-324. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2013.04.001. ISSN0308-597X.
^Sigler, Michael F.; Lunsford, Chris R.; Straley, Janice M.; Liddle, Joseph B. (2008). "Sperm whale depredation of sablefish longline gear in the northeast Pacific Ocean". Marine Mammal Science. 24 (1): 16-27. doi:10.1111/j.1748-7692.2007.00149.x. ISSN0824-0469.