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At a glance

Eco-rating Mercury Omega-3s
+-Sablefish/Black Cod


Although sometimes called a black cod, the sablefish is not a cod species. The wide-ranging, long-lived sablefish is popular in Japan, where most of the catch is marketed. This fish produces oil rich in vitamins A and D. It can live as long as 62 years and grow to a record of 4 feet (122 cm).

Commercial Sources

Sablefish are found in the North Pacific Ocean. In the eastern Pacific, they occur from the Bering Sea to central Baja California in Mexico. In the western Pacific, they are distributed from the coasts of Kamchatka in Russia to southern Japan.

The main source of sablefish is the United States followed by Canada.

Capture Methods

Sablefish come from marine fisheries, not fish farms. They are primarily caught with longlines and handlines. Additional types of fishing gear include trawls, pots and traps.

Recommended servings per month

Contaminant Men Women Kids 6-12 Kids 0-5
Sablefish/Black Cod Mercury 4+ 4+ 2 2
Eco details: 
  • Sablefish populations are healthy, and the fishing method (bottom longlines) produces little bycatch or harm to bottom habitat.
  • The Alaskan sablefish fishery is operated under an innovative 'catch share' system, which allows fishermen to work under safer conditions and get better prices for their catch while conserving stocks.
  • West Coast sablefish are now managed under a similar management plan as well. Bycatch is down 75%, and conservative catch quotas have limited the catch of overfished rockfish. Additionally, an innovation boom in gear design and fishing behavior has helped trawlers avoid bycatch hotspots and keep sensitive species out of nets.