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Anoplopoma fimbria.png
Anoplopoma fimbria
4sablefish 500.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scorpaeniformes
Family: Anoplopomatidae
Genus: Anoplopoma
Ayres, 1859
Species: A. fimbria
Binomial name
Anoplopoma fimbria
(Pallas, 1814)

The sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) is one of two members of the fish family Anoplopomatidae and the only species in the genus Anoplopoma.[1] In English, common names for it include sable (USA), butterfish (USA), black cod (USA, UK, Canada), blue cod (UK), bluefish (UK), candlefish (UK), coal cod (UK), coalfish (Canada), beshow, and skil(fish) (Canada), although many of these names also refer to other, unrelated, species.[2] In the USA, the FDA accepts only "sablefish" as the Acceptable Market Name; "black cod" is considered a vernacular (regional) name and should not be used as a Statement of Identity for this species.[3] The sablefish is found in muddy sea beds in the North Pacific at depths of 300 to 2,700 m (980 to 8,860 ft) and is commercially important to Japan.


The sablefish is a species of deep-sea fish common to the North Pacific Ocean.[4] Adult sablefish are opportunistic feeders, preying on fish (including Alaskan pollock, eulachon, capelin, herring, sandlance, and Pacific cod), squid, euphausiids, and jellyfish.[5] Sablefish are long-lived, with a maximum recorded age of 94 years.[6]

As food[edit]

The white flesh of the sablefish is soft-textured and mildly flavored. It is considered a delicacy in many countries. When cooked, its flaky texture is similar to Patagonian toothfish (Chilean sea bass). The meat has a high fat content and can be prepared in many ways, including grilling, smoking, or frying, or served as sushi. Sablefish flesh is high in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, and DHA. It contains about as much as wild salmon.[7]

Its flesh contains about 0.4ppm of mercury on average, comparable to bluefish, albacore tuna, or Chilean sea bass.[8] For that reason, the U.S. FDA recommends that young children and women of childbearing age consume no more than one serving per week.[9]


  1. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2005). "Anoplopoma fimbria" in FishBase. 10 2005 version.
  2. ^ "Common Names List - Anoplopoma fimbria". Retrieved 12 October 2017. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 July 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "Anoplopoma fimbria". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 24 January 2006. 
  5. ^ Yang, M-S and M. W. Nelson 2000. Food habits of the commercially important groundfishes in the Gulf of Alaska in 1990, 1993, and 1996. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-112. 174 p.
  6. ^ Kimura, Daniel K., A. M. Shaw and F. R. Shaw 1998. Stock Structure and movement of tagged sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria, in offshore northeast Pacific waters and the effects of El Nino-Southern Oscillation on migration and growth. Fish. Bull. 96:462-481.
  7. ^ "Sablefish Anoplopoma fimbria". FishWatch. Retrieved 23 March 2018. 
  8. ^ "Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish (1990-2012)". FDA. Retrieved 13 August 2018. 
  9. ^ U.S. Food & Drug Administration, "Eating Fish: What Pregnant Women and Parents Should Know" [1]

External links[edit]