Japanese sea bass

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Japanese sea bass
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Lateolabracidae
Genus: Lateolabrax
Species: L. japonicus
Binomial name
Lateolabrax japonicus
(G. Cuvier, 1828)
  • Labrax japonicus G. Cuvier, 1828
  • Percalabrax japonicus (G. Cuvier, 1828)
  • Holocentrum maculatum McClelland, 1844
  • Lateolabrax maculatus (McClelland, 1844)
  • Percalabrax poecilonotus Dabry de Thiersant, 1872
  • Percalabrax spilonotus Dabry de Thiersant, 1872
  • Percalabrax tokionensis Döderlein, 1883

The Japanese seabass, also suzuki (?) (Lateolabrax japonicus), 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 at depths of at least 5 m (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 cm (40 in), though most do not exceed 16.1 cm (6.3 in). The greatest weight recorded for this species is 8.7 kg (19 lb). This species is important commercially, popular as a game fish, and farmed.[1]

Japanese seabass 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 symbolizes good fortune.

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 perilla leaf and a scattering of red pepper flakes.


  1. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Lateolabrax japonicus" in FishBase. October 2013 version.