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The sablefish is a fish that goes by many different names. It has a different name in almost every country in which it is consumed. In the English-speaking countries alone, the sablefish has eight different names.
In the United States, sablefish is referred to as butterfish or simply sable. Australians also refer to the fish as butterfish. In the United Kingdom, sablefish is called black cod, blue cod, bluefish, coal cod, and candlefish. In Canda, sablefish is called coalfish. To confuse the matter a bit further, the names listed above are also sometimes used to refer to other species of fish. The fish is also eaten in Japan and Thailand where, of course, it has other names.
To be quite specific, sablefish is one of only two members of the fish family Anoplopomatidae. Furthermore, it is the only species in the Anoplopoma genus. Its full Latin name is Anoplopoma fimbria.
Sablefish generally reside in muddy sea beds in the North Pacific. They are found at depths of 1000 to 9000 ft (300 to 2,700 m). They are preying fish which means that they consume other, smaller fish. They feed on walleye pollock, capelin, eulachon, sandlance, herring, among others. They are also known to feed on jellyfish and squid.
Sablefish may have so many names because it is very popular. In fact, it is a delicacy in many countries. One of the reasons that the white, oily meat of the fish is prized is that it has both a sweet taste and a flaky texture. When it is cooked, it is quite similar to the texture of sea bass. In fact, sablefish is sometimes used to replace sea bass and vice versa.
This fish, when prepared without too much oil or butter, is considered to be a very healthy food. It contains omega 3 fatty acids which are considered to be very valuable to overall health and are believed by many to improve the symptoms of peope with circulatory and cardiovascular problems. While salmon, especially wild salmon, is generally thought of as one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids, sablefish has almost as much. Furthermore, they have been found to be low in mercury. This is an important note as many people who consume fish are concerned about the levels of mercury that they may be consuming.
The sablefish can live for an incredible amount of time. In fact, there have been some found to be over 75 years old.