. MESA: Sablefish Nutrition & Value

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MESA: Sablefish Nutrition & Value

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A dinner prepared with sablefish.
A sablefish preparation, photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

Due to its rich oil content, sablefish is exceptionally flavorful and an excellent fish for smoking. It is considered a delicacy in many countries, particularly Japan, for its sweet taste and flaky texture. Sablefish is very high in healthy long-chain omega 3 fatty acids, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). It contains approximately as much EPA and DHA as wild salmon. Wild Alaskan sablefish is also very low in PCBs, dioxins, and mercury.

Sablefish is one of the highest valued finfish per pound in Alaska commercial fisheries (more than $3/lb ex-vessel price). Although in terms of landed weight, it is a relatively small fishery. Its high price per pound makes it a nearly 100 million dollar fishery, 3rd in value to walleye pollock and Pacific cod (see figure below).

Recent ex-vessel value of non-pollock fisheries in Alaska managed by NMFS
Recent ex-vessel value of non-pollock fisheries in Alaska managed by NMFS


Dana Hanselman
Auke Bay Laboratories
Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries

Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute
17109 Pt Lena Loop Rd
Juneau AK 99801

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