Prime fish enters European waters – Fishfarmer Magazine

Prime fish enters European waters13 February, 2014 –

A CANADIAN company is introducing a Japanese favourite to the European seafood market.

Sablefish Canada Inc. is targeting restaurants and high-end retail outlets with its acclaimed Kyuquot Sound Black Cod.

Black cod, or ‘sablefish’ as it is widely known in North America, is fast growing in global popularity, thanks in no small part to the now legendary Black Cod and Miso signature dish created by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa.

It is an extremely versatile fish that is perfectly suited to many culinary applications and is particularly prized for its large, velvety flakes and rich buttery flavour. It also contains high levels of health-boosting omega-3 fatty acids.

Originally only available in Japan, but now also listed on menus in leading Michelin star restaurants in North America and Hong Kong, the sashimi-grade Kyuquot Sound Black Cod will provide European chefs with a genuinely new, premium-quality fresh product 52 weeks of the year.

Paul Simpson, Sablefish Canada’s Marketing Manager, says that Sablefish Canada’s mission is to make a difference in the global seafood category by establishing an entirely new category of responsibly farmed Black Cod with all the inherent quality benefits of sashimi grade.

‘As the only commercial farmer of Black Cod in the world, we feel we are best placed to introduce this product to the European market.

‘This is a far superior fish when compared to the defrosted wild-caught Black Cod that Europe has received over the years and our project finally addresses the sustainability issues of the wild stock of this fish,’ he says.

As its name suggests, the fish are farmed in Kyuquot Sound, which is a remote area northwest of Vancouver Island, Canada.

Kyuquot Sound is famed for its pristine, cold, deep waters. The pens are almost 100 feet deep in order to provide this deepsea species with the darkness and space they require to grow stress-free.

Kyuquot Sound Black Cod take 36 months to reach market size, during which time they are raised only on specially-formulated organic diets.

Only marine FAO certified 100 percent fish oil and fishmeal are used, with no colorants or hormones. The farm adheres to a stocking density of 8kg per cubic metre, which is lower than most organic stocking densities.

The fish are harvested using a traditional Japanese system that eliminates tissue damage caused by excessive pH and lactic acid build-up. The farm uses a long, black airlift pump to slowly draw the fish up from their deepwater habitat to the harvest table.

To ensure the fish remain at sashimi-grade, they are then carefully worked through mechanical gutting, washing, grading and weighing stations rather than being passed from one hand to another.

Kyuquot Sound Black Cod are delivered fresh (never frozen) in Europe and have a 12-day shelf-life for raw consumption and an 18-day shelf-life for cooked.