Black Sea Bass Flavor Profile
Sea Bass is a generic name used for many different fish from various species and most are not even Bass. Black Sea Bass is a true Bass which is a popular sport fish as well as an important commercial fish. It is abundant enough that it is usually available fresh.
Black Sea Bass have lean, white flesh with a moderately firm texture, small flakes and a delicate flavor. Because of its small size, it is often prepared whole. Due to its lean nature, do not overcook sea bass because it will become dry. The skin is edible (if descaled) and it presents well.
Typical Cooking Methods
Atlantic Sea Bass, Black Bass, Blackfish, Black Perch, Bluefish, Rock Bass, Tallywag, Black Harry, Chub, Blue Fish
Typical Wholesale Products
Head/On Dressed 1-3 lb
Skin/On Fillets 7-11 oz
Skin/Off Fillets 5-9 oz
Some Asian markets sell it from live tanks
Description (Centropristis striata)
Black Sea Bass are a small, bottom-feeding fish found along the US Atlantic Coast. They have stout bodies, a long dorsal fin, and adults are smoky gray-black or blue-black sides and lighter belly. Their scales are dark against the skin fading to a paler shade on the edges which gives the appearance of having horizontal dots. Mature males have a hump immediately behind the dorsal fin. Younger fish are green or brown. They are a purely oceanic fish and unlike many fish which are called “sea bass”, they are a true Bass.
Black Sea Bass can grow to 8 pounds, but average market weight is 1 to 2 pounds, with a 12” fish weighing about one pound and an 18” fish weighing around three pounds.
Black Sea Bass 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.
Black Sea Bass Butchering Yield Percentage and Recovery
|Item||To Skin/On Fillets||To Skin/Off Fillets||Notes|
|Whole Head/On ungutted (Round)||37%||33%|
|Whole Head/On gutted||45%||37%|
|Skin/On Fillets||—||89%||If you have yield info on this fish please comment below.|
|Yield % varies according to a number of factors including: size of fish, season, sex, and the skill of your fishmonger.|
Range & Habitat
Black Sea Bass are found along the US Atlantic Coast from Maine to the Gulf of Mexico, but are most abundant between New Jersey and North Carolina. They are generally found at depths under 120 feet during the summer and from 120 to 600 feet in the winter months, but have been known to reach depths of 1100 feet. Most Black Sea Bass are hermaphroditic, reproducing both as a male and as a female at some point in their life span.
Black Sea Bass Sustainability Info
|Name||Alternate Names||Catch Method||Catch
|Black Sea Bass||Atlantic Sea Bass, Black Bass, Blackfish, Black Perch, Rock Bass||Wild,
pots/traps, bottom trawl
|US mid-Atlantic||see below||see below||low|
|north of Cape Hatteras, NC||see above||low|
|Wild, handline, pots/trap||north of Cape Hatteras, NC||see above||low|
pots/traps, bottom trawl
|south of Cape Hatteras, NC||see above||low|
|Disclaimer: The sustainability info above 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.|
= Best Choice/Recommended = Good Alternative = Avoid/Not Recommended
Ocean Wise uses the most detailed analysis here for sustainability. While the Seafood Watch Program and Ocean Blue lump all Black Sea Bass into one category, Sea Choice separates them into “northern stock” and “southern stock” with a separate rating for each, and Ocean Wise goes one step further to rate the norther stocks by catch method.
Commercial Fishing Method
Wild Caught: Otter Trawling (most common), Hook & Line, Pots/Traps
Aquaculture: not raised commercially yet
based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving.