Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
(G. Cuvier, 1828)
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Lateolabrax japonicus, the Japanese seabass (Suzuki (鱸?)), is a species of Asian seabass native to the western Pacific Ocean where it occurs from Japan to the South China Sea. They inhabit fresh, brackish and marine waters of inshore rocky reefs and in estuaries where it is found at depths of at least 5 metres (16 ft). This species is catadromous with the young ascending rivers and then returning to the sea to breed. This species can reach a length of 102 centimetres (40 in) TL though most do not exceed 16.1 centimetres (6.3 in) SL. The greatest weight recorded for this species is 8.7 kilograms (19 lb). This species is important commercially and is also quite popular as a game fish. It is also farmed.
Suzuki have shiny white flesh with an easily recognizable, broad-flaked structure and a mild flavor. They have traditionally been one of the most popular targets for Japanese anglers. In the Kantō region, including Shizuoka Prefecture, it is called seigo when under 25 cm. At three years of age, when it has attained a length of near 60 cm, it is called fukko or suzuki. Because their name changes as they grow – in Japanese such fish are called shusseuo (出世魚?) – the Japanese have associated them with advancement in life and believe Japanese seabass are luck-bringer fish.
Like hirame, suzuki makes an elegant paper-thin sashimi, suzuki usu zukuri. Suzuki sashimi is often served with ponzu, a citrus-flavored mild soy sauce, or served in the summertime on a bed of ice cubes with tangy shiso leaf and a scattering of red pepper flakes.
- In the Animal Crossing series of games, there is an ongoing gag about how suzuki (called sea bass ingame) were annoyingly abundant and low-priced. Although they are not as common anymore, the gag still lives on.
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