Alaska’s Spring Seafood Season Begins with Wild Halibut and Sablefish Harvests
Alaska halibut and sablefish (black cod) harvest seasons kicked off March 11, increasing access to some of the best freshly caught and frozen wild seafood in the world.
“Nearly 60 percent of all the wild seafood harvested in the U.S. comes from Alaska, where we are dedicated to providing the world with sustainable, responsibly managed seafood that will be enjoyed for years to come,” says Jeremy Woodrow, communications director, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). “The start of halibut and sablefish season is a sign of spring in coastal Alaska, and a perfect reminder for consumers to ‘Ask for Alaska’ at restaurants. Specifying ‘Alaska’ when making seafood choices ensures consumers are supporting a wild and sustainable fishery.”
Alaska is committed to preserving and protecting its superior seafood and is the only state with sustainability written into its constitution. To ensure there will always be more to catch, Alaska fishermen limit their harvest to the statewide total allowable catch set by international, federal and state fisheries managers in order to sustain each fishery. In 2017, fisheries managers have set harvest levels at over 40 million pounds combined for Alaska halibut and sablefish.
Consumers look to chefs and restaurants to make delicious yet healthy and responsible choices available on their menus. Alaska’s array of delicious, wild whitefish species have a variety of nutritional benefits and culinary profiles. Each species is harvested seasonally and is also available frozen year-round. With Alaska halibut and sablefish seasons coinciding with Lent, try one of these easy recipes featuring Alaska whitefish varieties on your menu:
Halibut: Sweet, with delicate flavor and a firm and flaky texture, halibut maintains its shape and is suitable for all types of cooking methods.
Sablefish (black cod): Succulent, rich in flavor and luxurious, sablefish is perfect for grilling, poaching, smoking or roasting and delicious prepared with a miso glaze.
Alaska cod (Pacific cod): Moist and firm with a distinctive large flake and slightly sweet flavor, cod adapts well to most cooking methods.
Alaska pollock: With its mild flavor, Alaska pollock is an excellent choice for fish tacos, fish sticks and fish burgers. It is also the key ingredient in the world's finest surimi products, which offer a high-quality, convenient and ready-to-use alternative to traditional shellfish.
Sole (flounder): Lean, tender and with a mild taste, sole requires minimal handling to preserve moisture and is best when poached, sautéed or steamed.
Rockfish: Lean with a tender, yet meaty, texture, rockfish is great with a wide range of rubs, marinades and sauces.