There are many animals at the Vancouver Aquarium, beyond fish, that you might find on your dinner plate.
Yeah, I said it.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, with 1.2 billion people worldwide relying on seafood as their daily source of protein. With this in mind, Tessa D., BC Cetacean Sightings Network Coordinator, chose the sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) as October’s Staff Pick of the Month because it’s “a great reminder that we can enjoy local, sustainable seafood if we focus on marine conservation and responsible fisheries management.”
The Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program lists wild sablefish (also known as black cod) from British Columbia and Alaska as “recommended,” meaning that this species is abundant and resilient to fishing pressures, among other factors. Tessa says, “They are a really tasty Ocean Wise substitute for Chilean seabass,” which can be unsustainable if caught in certain parts of the world.
Beyond its Ocean Wise status, Tessa nominated this fish because “they are quite beautiful; their grayish-green bodies and small, soft scales give them a distinct look.”
Sablefish are found all along the west coast of North America to Mexico and on the coasts of Russia and Japan.
Tessa remembers first noticing the sablefish when she started working at the Aquarium as an interpreter. They were one of her favourite species to observe while diving in the Strait of Georgia exhibit. While her current job ensures she stays dry, she enjoys viewing them just as much from the other side of the acrylic pane.
Written by Karen Horak, writer-editor, content and digital experience at the Vancouver Aquarium.