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Chilean Sea Bass

Chilean Sea Bass Flavor Scale
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Chilean Sea Bass is a wonderfully flavored fish with a high oil content which keeps it moist during cooking.   Chefs-Resources' shows what it’s flavor profile and taste is like, the butchering yield % so you can determine your yield percentage for plate costing purposes, nutrition table, and other useful information.

Chilean Sea Bass Flavor Profile

Chilean Sea Bass has a fabulous taste and an almost sinful mouthfeel. Its high fat content gives it a rich, moist, tender flavor profile which melts in your mouth.  It has white flesh with large, tender flakes. I usually cook it to 125° F, about medium to medium-well (note that the Health Dept. recommends 135° for fish).

Typical Cooking Methods

  • Bake
  • Broil
  • Deep-Fry
  • Grill
  • Poach
  • Saute
  • Smoke
  • Steam
  • Sushi

Alternate Names

Patagonian Toothfish, Antarctic Toothfish, Antarctic Cod, Icefish, Black hake, Antarctic Blenny, Patagonian Blenny, Icefish, Mero, Bacalao de profundidad, Merluza Negra, Légine australe

Chilean Sea Bass Description (Dissostichus eleginoides, Dissostichus mawsoni)

Chilean Sea Bass are actually Patagonian Toothfish (eleginoides) or Antarctic Toothfish (mawsoni) and not a true bass.  The average commercial market size is about 20-40 lbs but they can weigh up to 200 lbs.  Almost all Chilean Sea Bass is frozen at sea and is almost never available fresh.  But these flash frozen fish are very high quality.
 Chilean Sea Bass
Image from Wikipidia-click for licensing

Typical Wholesale Products

 H&G, Loins, Skin-on Fillets, Skin-off Fillets

Fresh Availability

Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh.  Frozen available all year long.  Chilean Sea Bass is rarely available fresh, but high quality flash frozen product is available all year long.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
                                                                                               

 

Chilean Sea Bass Butchering Yield %

ItemTo Skin/On FilletsTo Skin/Off FilletsNotes
Whole Head/Off gutted -- 65% - 75% If you have yield info on this fish please comment below.

 

Range & Habitat

 Chilean Sea Bass are caught in both the eastern & western waters of southern South America and southern South Africa.  They dwell at depths of between 5,000 - 6,000 feet deep and are caught by longliners.

Chilean Sea Bass Range & Location
AquaMaps     Data sources: GBIF

Chilean Sea Bass Sustainability Info

NameAlternate NamesCatch MethodWhere
Caught
Seafood
Watch
Blue
Ocean
Ocean
Wise
Sea
Choice
Mercury
Concerns
Patagonia Toothfish,
Antarctic Toothfish
Chilean Sea Bass, Black hake, Antarctic Blenny, Patagonian Blenny, Icefish Longline, Bottom trawl, Chilean Longline, Traps Crozet Islands, Prince Edward and Marion Islands, Chile Red-Dot_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Yes
Longline Heard and McDonald Islands, Falkland Islands, Macquarie Island Green-icon_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Red-Dot_20.png
South Georgia, Kerguelen Islands Yellow-icon_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Red-Dot_20.png
Ross Sea Yellow-icon_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Red-Dot_20.png
MSC Certified Gear MSC Certifed Areas Green-icon_20.png Yellow-icon_20.png Red-Dot_20.png n/a

Marine Stewardship Counsel (MSC)

There are currently 4 Chilean Sea Bass fisheries which are certified sustainable by MSC:

  • South Georgia Patagonian Toothfish fishery - Set longlines
  • Heard Island & McDonald Islands Toothfish fisheries - Demersal trawl, Set longlines
  • Macquarie Island Toothfish - Demersal trawl, Set longlines
  • Ross Sea Toothfish - Set longlines
Disclaimer: The sustainability info here is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, each program randomly updates their information without our knowledge. We therefore recommend that you verify the current accuracy of this information.

 Green-icon_20.png = Best Choice/Recommended     Yellow-icon_20.png = Good Alternative     Red-Dot_20.png = Avoid/Not Recommended
 
       
Updated
April 2013
 

In April 2013, after a one year reassessment of the fishery, the Seafood Watch updated the status and rating of Chilean Sea Bass to include some "Best Choice" and "Good Alternative" options. This is due to a major improvement in the management of the fishery, a decrease in bycatch due to the use of improved gear, and a decrease in pirating and illegal fishing.

There are are also several fisheries which are certified sustainable by the MSC (Marine Stewardship Counsel).Marine Stewardship Counsel logo  MSC certified Chilean Sea Bass does not fall under the "Avoid" categorization for Seafood Watch. And Ocean Wise states, "The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has certified the small South Georgian Chilean Sea Bass fishery as ‘sustainable’ but this fishery only represents a small proportion of Chilean Sea Bass catches." Any vendor, restaurant, or grocery store that states they are selling an MSC product is required to have the MSC "Chain of Custody" certification.

The former rating of "Avoid" was based on the 2006 Seafood Watch Report which suggested the following:

"The majority of Chilean Sea Bass is considered to be over-fished. Additionally, most of the long-line gear which is used is unmodified and as a result it traps and drowns thousands of sea birds including endangered albatross. Because of its popularity, many fish are also caught illegally."

 

Chilean Seabass Nutritional Information

based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving

* Calories/Calories from fat 315
* Protein grams 22.6
* Fat grams 24.3
* Saturated fat grams 5.5
* Sodium milligrams 96
* Cholesterol milligrams 84
* Omega-3 grams 2.2
more Chilean Sea Bass nutrition
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

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David Buchanan is a professional chef and author of Chefs-Resources.com, a site geared towards providing chefs and culinarians useful info to help in their kitchens.
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Comments [ Add a Comment ]

DAVID BUCHANAN [ Jan 29, 2013 ]

Thanks for the update DISSOSTICHUS!  I'll review this an update the page soon.

DISSOSTICHUS [ Jan 28, 2013 ]

I would change a few things on this page:

1. Change

Alternate Names

to: Patagonian toothfish, Antarctic toothfish, Black hake, Mero, Bacalao de profundidad, Merluza Negra, Légine australe

(this is referenced from the Marine Stewardship Council website).

 

2. Add "or Antarctic Toothfish," to:

Chilean Sea Bass Description (Dissostichus eleginoides)

Chilean Sea Bass are actually Patagonian toothfish or Antarctic toothfish, and not a true bass.


3.  Add "Skin on fillet" to 

Typical Wholesale Products

 

4. Patagonian is spelt wrong in the "Name" section of

Chilean Sea Bass Sustainability Info


5. Add "traps" to catch method.


6.  There are now 4 toothfish fisheries that are independently certified by the MSC as sustainable and well managed fisheries - South Georgia, Ross Sea, Heard Island, Macquarie Island (this represents 30% of all toothfish harvested worldwide), plus there are 2 more fisheries undergoing assessment (Falkland Islands, Kerguelen Islands) (which is an additional 26% of worldwide catch).

 

7. I would also remove the statement as this is vastly outdated and inaccurate. (see CCAMLR reports, COLTO website or MSC website for references with scientific backup).

"The majority of Chilean Sea Bass is considered to be over-fished. Additionally, most of the long-line gear which is used is unmodified and as a result it traps and drowns thousands of sea birds including endangered albatross. Because of its popularity, many fish are also caught illegally."

 


Cheers


DAVID BUCHANAN [ Jan 03, 2011 ]

Thanks Ron, always appreciate helpful info to add.  It is especially hard to find butchering yields.

RON CALONICA [98.234.51.197] [ Jan 03, 2011 ]

Skin Off Chilean Sea bass is approx a 54% yield.