The Safina Center

Koho salmon.Koho salmon.Photo taken by: Carl Safina

Some problems exist with this species' status or catch methods, or information is insufficient for evaluating. Sablefish – U.S. California, Oregon, and Washington A fishery targeting this species has been certified as sustainable and well managed to the Marine Stewardship Council's environmental standard. Learn more at
These fish contain levels of mercury or PCBs that may pose a health risk to adults and children.

Sablefish is a moderately growing, long-lived species that is found in deep waters of the Pacific Ocean, from northern Alaska to Baja California. Sablefish abundance is currently at a medium level.

Sablefish are primarily caught with bottom trawls in California Oregon, and Washington. The bottom trawls can cause significant damage to the seafloor and may catch some vulnerable species, like depleted rockfish.

Management of Sablefish is good overall, with implementation of a quota share system in which fishers own a share of the total allowed catch and are allowed to fish at anytime within the season. The Marine Stewardship Council recently certified U.S. West Coast Sablefish as sustainable.

Full Seafood Watch U.S. species report here.
Full Safina Center species report here.

This species may have moderately high levels of mercury that could pose a health risk to adults and children. More info here about mercury in Sablefish. Check out our mercury in seafood section.