Patagonian Toothfish

Patagonian Toothfish
Common Name Patagonian Toothfish
Market Name Chilean seabass, mero, icefish, antarctic cod
Scientific name Dissostichus eleginoides

Sourcing Summary

Size

15-40 lbs.

Patagonian toothfish, aka Chilean seabass, is a big fish that can weigh 100 pounds headed-and-gutted although the average is closer to 20 pounds. The fish tends to be processed and frozen at sea. It’s then sometimes sold “refreshed” headed-and-gutted, as loins and skinless fillets. Most commonly it’s sold frozen in skinless fillets or headed-and-gutted. The meat is tender, moist and moderately oily with large, thick flakes. When raw the meat will be snow white and when cooked it will stay white. Look for refreshed fillets that are shiny and avoid frozen seabass that has discoloration or freezer burn. Alaskan sablefish can be an affordable, widely available substitute for Chilean seabass.

Product Forms

Fresh/Frozen
Fresh
Product Forms
Fillet
H&G
Loins
Fresh/Frozen
Frozen
Product Forms
Fillet
H&G

Fresh Seasonal Availability

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes

Culinary Composition

Strong

Flavor

Firm

Texture

Health/Nutrition

Nutrition facts

Serving Size: 100g
Amount per serving
Calories 184
Total Fat 14.2g
Cholesterol 49mg
Sodium 56mg
Carbohydrates 0g
Protein 13g

Science & Management

Conservation Criteria - Wild

Impact on Stock

Patagonian toothfish, marketed as Chilean Seabass, is a large, slow-growing deep-sea species found around the Southern Hemisphere, primarily off the coasts of Chile, Argentina and around sub-Antarctic islands. The species has been vulnerable to over-exploitation and its high commercial value has made it a constant target of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. A 2013 Monterey Bay Aquarium report indicated that Patagonian toothfish stocks around South Georgia, Heard and McDonald Islands, Macquarie Island and the Falkland Islands are abundant. Stocks in the Ross Sea appear to be doing well but there was uncertainty about the measurements. The Prince Edward and Marion Islands stocks were depleted, Crozet stocks were unassessed and highly vulnerable, while the Chilean fishery was assessed as being overfished.

Habitat impacts (Wild)

Until the mid-1990s most Patagonian toothfish was caught using bottom trawl gear. This causes significant damage to the seafloor habitat and has a negative impact on ocean life for years afterward. Now most Patagonian toothfish are caught with longline gear and some are caught with pots, gear that’s less destructive. However some fisheries still employ trawl gear. 

Bycatch

Although the switch from bottom trawl to longline gear has changed the impact on the seafloor, demersal longline fishing in the Patagonian toothfish fishery has accidentally killed numerous seabirds. Threatened or endangered species captured include black-browed albatross, grey-headed albatross, rockhopper penguin, white-chinned petrel, yellownose skate and the porbeagle shark, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Management measures have had success in reducing seabird bycatch to low levels although illegal fishing vessels lack even basic bycatch mitigation.

Management effectiveness

Management policies vary depending on the Patagonian toothfish fishery but the primary management body for Patagonian toothfish is the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources or CCAMLR, established in 1982. The Commission has substantial management measures in place that include catch limits, fishery closures, gear restrictions, population assessments, and 100% scientific observer coverage. The Commission has also had success in reducing illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing since dedicated efforts began in 2000, but the practices persist on the Banzare bank in the Western Indian Ocean.

Conservation Criteria - Farmed

Origin Method Ratings
All Other Origins All Other Fishing Methods  
Chile Bottom Longline  
Crozet Island (MSC) Bottom Longline  
Heard and McDonald Islands (MSC) Longline  
Heard and McDonald Islands (MSC) Bottom Trawl  
Kerguelan Islands (MSC) Bottom Longline  
Macquarie Island (MSC) Longline  
Prince Edward & Marion Islands Bottom Longline  
South Georgia (MSC) Bottom Longline  
United Kingdom - Falkland Islands (MSC) Longline  
Name Country State / Province
Albion Farms & Fisheries Canada British Columbia
Austral Fisheries Australia Western Australia
Calkins & Burke Canada British Columbia
Catalina Offshore Products United States California
Euclid Fish Company United States Ohio
Fortune Fish & Gourmet United States Illinois
Halperns' Purveyors of Steak and Seafood United States Georgia
IncredibleFish, Inc. United States Florida
John Nagle Co. United States Massachusetts
Lee Fish USA United States California
Lotus Seafood Inc. United States California
Lusamerica Foods, Inc. United States California
Mark Foods, Inc. United States New York
Maximum Seafood Canada Ontario
Mazzetta Company, LLC. United States Illinois
Netuno USA United States Florida
Norpac Fisheries Export United States Hawaii
Northeast Seafood Products, Inc. United States Colorado
Orca Bay Seafoods, Inc. United States Washington
Pacific Harvest Seafoods United States California
Pacific Seafood Group, Inc. United States Oregon
Pescanova USA United States Florida
Pike Place Fish Market United States Washington
Profish Ltd. United States District of Columbia
Royal Hawaiian Seafood United States California
Samuels & Son Seafood Company, Inc. United States Pennsylvania
Santa Monica Seafood, Inc. United States California
Seacore Seafood Inc. Canada Ontario
Seattle Fish Company United States Colorado
Seattle Fish Company - Kansas City United States Missouri
Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico United States New Mexico
Tai Foong USA United States Washington
The Fish Guys Inc. United States Minnesota