Finfish Butchering Yield % to Fillets and Loins

Fish Fillet Yields jpgThe art of the Fishmonger is becoming more rare in the US as this skill set is left to the seafood processors, and chefs loose touch with how to break-down fish. Most of today’s chefs do not know what the fish fillet butchering yield is for the vary fish that they are serving! And although it is a very sad thing, it is completely understandable as utilization of the whole fish is not possible in many operations, and it is much easier to rotate product when you can purchase 5 – 10 lb at a time rather than a whole tuna.

However, if you do breakdown your own fish, or want to give it a try, then these are suggested yield percentage standards for your fishmonger or cooks to try to achieve. Your actual yields will vary depending upon a number of variables including the size of the fish (larger fish generally have a better yield), season, sex of the fish, and the skill of your fishmonger. Also, be sure to check-out the “how to fillet fish” page of video tutorials to see the technique used for different fish.


  • Dressed is gutted, scaled, tail and fins removed (could be H/On or H/Off)
  • H&G = Head-Off and gutted
  • H/On & G = Head-On and gutted
  • Japanese Fillet includes collar and ribs
  • PBI = Pin Bones In
  • Round = whole fish ungutted
  • Skn/On = skin-on
  • Skn/Off = skin-off
  • Skn/On B/L In = skin-on, bloodline in (used for Loins)
  • Skn/On B/L Out = skin-on, excess waste is trimmed including about 95% of the bloodline
  • Skn/On C/C = Skin-on center cut

Yield percentages listed do vary on average by about +/- 3. Multiple sources were researched and the “best” info was selected.

If you have access to professional Fishmonger yields then please leave comments at the bottom of the page
to update info, especially for items which have “??” entered in the cell.


Fresh Seafood Butchering Yield Percentages – Loins
FishCutTo Skn/On B/L InTo Skn/On B/L OutTo Skn/Off B/L OutTo Skn/On C/CTo Skn/Off C/C
Kajiki – Blue Marlin
Round65%????To Dressed H/On = 80%
Loin Skn/On B/L In92%85%85%75%
Nairagi – Striped MarlinRound65%????To Dressed H/On = 75%
Ono (Wahoo)RoundTo Dressed H/On = 75%
H&G 20-up78%73%65%????
H&G 20-down74%69%60%????
Loin Skn/On B/L In95%85%????
Shark Black ThresherBullet63%57%??50%
Shark Black TipH&G??74%??68%
Loin Skn/On B/L In90%85%85%75%
Tuna Albacore (Tombo)H&G70%64%53%????
Loin Skn/On B/L In90%85%????
Tuna BigeyeH&G70%55%52%35%
Loin Skn/On B/L In79%75%??
Tuna BluefinH&G70%55%50%35%
Loin Skn/On B/L In83%72%??
Tuna YellowfinH&G69%65%55%55%50%
Loin Skn/On B/L In90%85%85%75%


Fresh Fish Yield Percentages – Fillets
SpeciesItemTo Skn/on FilletsTo Skn/off FilletsNotes
AmberjackH/On & G63%54%
Skin/On Fillets84%
Arctic CharRound55%50%
H/On & G69%63%
Skin/On Fillets91%
BarracudaH/On & G61%??
H/On & G45% – 50%??
Black CodH&G59%48%
CatfishH/On & G, 4-up63%50%To Skirt/Off, Skin/Off = 42% source
H/On & G, 2-down60%40%Skirt is too thin to utilize
Skin/On Fillets87%To Skirt/Off = 67%
Cod – AtlanticH/On & G50% PBI43% PBODuring spawning: 30-38% PBO
Cod – Pacific Round55%48% PBITo Skin/Off PBO = 41% source
H&G71%62% PBITo Skin/Off PBO = 52%
Skin/On Fillets87%To Skin/Off PBO = 73%
Skin/On V-cut Fillets87% PBIRound to V-cut Fillet = 39%
To Skin/Off PBO = 73%
CorvinaRound86%43%Corvina is a name used for many different fish of the Croaker & Drum family. Yields here are very general.
Skin/On Fillets84%
Drum Fish
Black DrumRound46%40%
H/On & G??33%
Skin/On Fillets87%
Red DrumRound, 1.5 lb34%28%source pg 15
Round, 2 lb46%40%source
H/On & G??33%
Skin/On Fillets87%
Grouper 3-downH/On & G??40%source
Black GrouperRound??43%source: Modern Garde Manger
Red GrouperRound??42%
HaddockH/On & G – large fish47%42%source
H/On & G – small fish43%40%
Skn/On Flt89%
Hake, PacificRound43%32% PBIRound to Dressed H/On = 80%
Round to H&G = 60%source
27% PBO
H/On & G51%38% PBI
Skn/On Flt75% PBI
Skn/On Flt63% PBO
HalibutRound56%46%Round to H&G = 70 – 83%
10/20 H&G65%55%
20/40, 40/60 H&G68%58%source
Skn/On Flt80%
HapuRoundRound to Dressed Head/On = 66% source
Hebi – SpearfishRound, 20/40Round to Dressed Head/On = 70% – 80%
H/On & G, 20/4045% – 55%??source
HiramasaH/On & G63%54%Western Fillet
H&G74%62%Western Fillet
H/On & G74%??Japanese Fillet
H&G87%??Japanese Fillet
LingcodRoundTo Dressed Head/On = 90%; To H&G = 62% – 74%
Round??27% – 32%PBI Fillets
H/On & G??39%source
Mahi MahiRound??40% – 50%To Dressed Head/On = 75%
H&G68%59%Males have larger heads and lower yields
Skn/On Flt85%
MonchongH/On & G, 20 lb60%44%source: Chef’s Resources kitchen
Skn/On Flt79%
OnagaRound??46% – 48%source
H/On & G38%33%source: Chef’s Resources kitchen
H/On & G, 10-up44%??
H/On & G, 10-down38%??
Pollock, Alaska (Walleye Pollock)Round40%34%Round to Dressed H/On = 79%
Round to H&G = 62%
Skn/On Flt85%
Red SnapperRound52%48%
H/On & G40% – 44%36% – 40%
Skn/On Flt92%
Rockfish I
Black, Greenstripe, Thornyhead
Round32%27%Round to Dressed H/On = 88%
H/On & G56%48%source:
Skn/On Flt85%
Rockfish II
Canary, China, Dusky, Quillback, Redbanded, Redstriped, Rosethorn, Rougheye, Shortraker, Silvergray, Tiger, Widow, Yelloweye, Yellowtail
Round28%23%Round to Dressed H/On = 88%
H/On & G49%40%source:
Skn/On Flt82%
SablefishRound40%35%Round to H&G = 64%source:
H/On & G45%36%
Skn/On Flt80%
Salmon – Farmed
Atlantic Salmon2/4, 4/6 H/On & G68%62%source: Pacific Seafood
6/10, 10/14 H/On & G70%64%
14/18 H/On & G71%65%
18/Up H/On & G72%66%
Skn/On Flt
Chinook Salmon (farmed)2/4, 4/6 H/On & G68%62%
6/8 H/On & G69%63%
8/10 H/On & G70%64%
10/Up H/On & G71%65%
Skn/On Flt
Salmon – Wild
Chum SalmonRound60%50%source: Pacific Seafood
H/On & G67%56%
Skn/On Flt
Coho SalmonRound57%51%
H/On & G62%55%
Skn/On Flt
Chinook (King) SalmonRound55%46%
H/On & G63%52%
H&G U/1069%62%
H&G 10/Up72%64%
H&G 18/Up76%67%
Copper River 10/Up73%66%
Skn/On Flt
Pink SalmonRound52%42%
H/On & G57%46%
Skn/On Flt
Sockeye SalmonRound53%46%
H/On & G57%50%
Skn/On Flt
SardinesRound53%49%Round to H/On & G = 84%
H/On & G64%59%
Sea Bass
Black Sea BassRound37%33%
H/On & G45%37%
Skin/On Fillets89%
Chilean Sea BassRoundTo H&G = 68%
H&G??65% – 75%
White Sea BassRound??33%
Skin/On Fillets87%
SkateH/On & G26%??Round to H/On & G = 90%
Round to H&G = 39%
Dover Sole (Pacific Dover)Round29%Round to H/On & G = 86%
Round to H&G = 65%
English SoleRound27%Round to H/On & G = 85%
Round to H&G = 65%
Petrale SoleRound29%Round to H/On & G = 86%
Round to H&G = 66%
Rex SoleRound33%Round to H/On & G = 85%
Round to H&G = 65%
Rock SoleRound28%Round to H/On & G = 87%
Round to H&G = 67%
SteelheadWild H/On & G69%62%
Wild H&G66%60%
Farmed H/On & G70%63%
Striped Bass 2 lbRound40%34%source
Skn/On Flt86%source
SturgeonRound56%45%Round to H/On & G = 85%
Round to H&G = 75%
H/On & G66%53%
Skn/On Flt80%
SwaiH/On & G40%
TilapiaRound30% – 35%
Trout – WildRound61%55%Round to H/On & G = 88%
Round to H&G = 69%
H/On & G78%69%
Skn/On Flt90%
Trout – FarmedH/On & G69%63%H/On & G to H&G = 78%
Skn/On Flt91%
Uku – Grey JobfishRound45%??source


Comments from before Site Migration

Add a Comment!

MITCH SIPES [] [ Aug 12, 2015 ]

I am trying to get a yield for H&G Barents Sea Cod from Russia or Norway. There is an established market for this product From $3300 to $3400 per M/T. Most of it is going to China. Trying to establish a comparison between buying containers of frozen at sea boneless skinless fillets 8/16 and 16×32 oz and 1 to 2 kilo H&G and filleting locally.

BRYAN [] [ May 12, 2015 ]

I am in need of a yield on Skin on sea bass, I’m getting very low yields from what the monger is sending me, typically 30-35% based on belly size.

DAVID BUCHANAN [ May 25, 2014 ]

Thanks Thatcher, and you raise a good point. This info is based upon the standard butchering practices in the United States. Other countries may find the info incorrect as their butchering procedures/expectations may be different.

THATCHER WHITE [] [ May 25, 2014 ]

Great Work and a general good guide line. However yield is cultural. In some countries the entire fish is used. Even in the fine dinning restaurants. There are benefits of this of course. (Driving down food cost). Along with creating some wonderful dishes that are unusual but very creative.

Otherwise with your measurements you are on.

Sincerly, Thatcher

DAVID BUCHANAN [ Feb 16, 2014 ]

Chuck – thanks for the info! Are you in the industry? If you have additional info contact me at chefs-resources @ msn dot com

CHUCK ANDERSON [] [ Feb 15, 2014 ]

The yields for some species look a little high as reported here. Head on, gutted Atlantic cod yield 42%-44% for skinless pin bone out (PBO) fillets on average, during non spawning season. Yields during spawning are closer to 38%, but can fall as low as 30%. The cod yields above may be for pin bone in (PBI) fillets, which are not common in the marketplace anymore.

DAVID BUCHANAN [ May 13, 2012 ]

Thanks Ron! Always appreciate getting fish yields. It is so hard to find yields for fish.

RON CALONICA [] [ May 13, 2012 ]

Tilapia fillet yields= boneless (PBO) fillets: 30-37%, depending on fillet size and final trim

MAGICOFSPICE [ Aug 12, 2010 ]

Great job, this grid is amazing…everything all in one place.



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what does % recovery rate actually refers to??

Seafood Sherpa

I appreciate this information. As an amateur fish butcher writing a blog for home cooks, I like to have a goal in mind for a new fish. I try to beat your yield every time and it is usually pretty close. Great site. Also great to see some oddball fish on here. Not too many people talking about Monchong on the mainland.


I need the data about butchering yield in my research paper, which topic is about animal foods production and nutrition.

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