Thursday, August 6, 2009

Chilean Sea Bass = Patagonian Toothfish

Not convinced that marketing can influence our buying decisions? Have you ever heard of Patagonian toothfish, slimehead and goosefish? Well, that’s what we are eating when we purchase Chilean sea bass, orange roughy and monkfish, respectively.

The sexier names were all created within the past several decades to help bolster sales of varieties that previously weren’t on our sonar. With the name changes, sales of all three skyrocketed. However, this led to overfishing, which severely depleted stocks. Protections are now in place for the three.

Why the name changes? As the commercial fishing industry grew to meet the increased demand for seafood, uncommon fish types were brought back by boats having to fish deeper and travel farther. Simply put, even a pound of slimehead had no chance against just a forkful of the more genteel-sounding orange roughy.

Be forewarned that (starting early next year) if you see “delacata” on restaurant menus or at markets, you are simply buying a thicker fillet of a farmed catfish.


Anonymous said...

The thing about Antarctic Toothfish aka Chilean sea Bass is that it is fished for a luxury market from the very last pristine marine ecosystem on earth. It makes no sense and should be boycotted at restaurants.See

Anonymous said...

Yes and these Antartic toothfish live to 100 years and more, they are slow breeders, so can not replenish their species quickly, the alarming level of haul from the Antartic Ocean is shocking, to be sold to elite diners, every mouthful is a lie, as they are being sold a fish on a dish that does not exist, Chilean sea bass a lie that hides the truth of the plight of the ancient Toothfish that lives longer than humans do.