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Aug 16, 2014 09:27 PM

Sablefish versus Alaska Black Cod

Sorry if this is a bit mundane but is there any difference between these? Wikipedia implies they are the same but at a local very well known Japanese restaurant this week, the hostess spent time noting how this was sablefish, NOT Alaska black cod. Is this just a marketing thing like Copper River salmon? Is one more sustainable than the other?

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  1. As far as I know, they are the same fish.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Anne M

      As Anne says Sablefish & Black Cod are different names for the same animal-the hostess probably has Black & Grey Cod mixed up.

      1. re: Sam Salmon

        Black cod is a regional marketing name for sablefish, which actually isn't a cod.

        There are other fish globally that also use the name black cod. In North America it usually means sablefish.

    2. great question - not mundane at all
      I am in the understanding that sablefish is a fancy menu name for cod and is desirable if sourced in BC

      I have eaten it - gently cooked. I don't really like "smoked" flavor so what we had at a restaurant was poached, I believe.

      I don't know about its "Oceanwise" status (Vancouver Aquarium) so you'd have to check.

      remember that "sable" is French for sand - and cod usually live at lowest level closest to ocean floor, is that right? (that's why they are called "groundfish")

      1 Reply
      1. re: Georgia Strait

        Ya there are a few names used 'interchangeably' depending on who's selling and who's buying the fish and who is most knowledgeable.....or not.
        To really mess things up this is what I think of when someone says "black cod":
        (Google Pacific black rock cod photos.) They are basically sea bass.
        I used to commercial fish for them. They live around 'pinnacles' not on the ocean floor.
        Anytime you see a fish with barbels you are looking at a bottom-feeder.