Alaska Halibut and Sablefish Spring Seafood Season

Alaska Halibut and Sablefish Harvest Kicks Off Spring Seafood Season

Supplying More Than 90 Percent of Pacific Halibut and 65 Percent of Sablefish (Black Cod) Harvested in the United States, Alaska Halibut and Sablefish Season Opens This Weekend


JUNEAU, Alaska – March 22, 2018 – The annual Alaska halibut and sablefish (black cod) harvest seasons begin Saturday, March 24, bringing world-renowned, high-quality, sustainable, wild-caught Alaska whitefish to restaurants and retailers across the country. The delicate, sweet flavor of Alaska halibut and rich succulent profile of Alaska sablefish offer a versatile, healthy protein option for home cooks, chefs and diners to enjoy fresh throughout spring, summer and fall, and frozen year-round.


Both Alaska halibut and Alaska sablefish are especially great for grilling and roasting. They pair beautifully with seasonal sides and vegetables and are perfect for using in popular, flavorful recipes, from miso glazes to Southwest flavors.


“Alaska halibut and sablefish are sourced from the pure, icy waters of Alaska resulting in unparalleled flavor and exceptional quality. Our fishermen follow some of the best sustainable fishing practices in the world,” said Jeremy Woodrow, communications director, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). “The start of a new season is a timely reminder to always ‘Ask for Alaska’ when dining out or shopping at grocery stores so you can be confident that your seafood is always wild and sustainably sourced.”


Alaska is the only state with sustainability written into its constitution and has been practicing science-based fisheries management for decades. To ensure there will always be more to catch, Alaska fishermen limit their harvest to the statewide total allowable catch set by international, federal and state fisheries managers to sustain each fishery. In 2018, harvest levels are set at 33 million pounds for Alaska sablefish and 17.5 million pounds for Alaska halibut.


In addition to halibut and sablefish, Alaska offers a wide variety of whitefish species for every taste, budget and cooking technique. Each species is harvested seasonally and is also available frozen year-round. Try one of these easy recipes featuring Alaska whitefish varieties:


Alaska Whitefish Varieties

  • Halibut: Sweet, with delicate flavor and a firm and flaky texture, halibut maintains its shape and is suitable for all types of cooking methods.

Recipe suggestions: Alaska Halibut Caprese Salad Bites or Alaska Halibut with Lemon Dressing

  • Sablefish (black cod): Succulent and rich in flavor, sablefish is perfect for grilling, poaching, smoking or roasting.

Recipe suggestion: Miso Glazed Black Cod

  • Alaska cod (Pacific cod): Moist and firm with a distinctive large flake and slightly sweet flavor, cod adapts well to most cooking methods.

Recipe suggestion: Alaska Cod Parmesan – cod and other mild fish are great protein substitutes in more traditional recipes

  • Alaska pollock: With its mild flavor, Alaska pollock is an excellent choice for fish tacos, fish sticks and fish burgers and can be sourced frozen as fillets or lightly breaded.

Recipe suggestion:  Alaska Pollock Burrito Bowl

  • Sole (flounder): Lean, tender and with a mild taste, sole requires minimal handling to preserve moisture and is best when poached, sautéed or steamed.

Recipe suggestion: Alaska Sole Capri

  • Rockfish: With a tender, yet meaty, texture, rockfish is great with a wide range of rubs, marinades and sauces.

Recipe suggestion: Alaska Rockfish Charmoula


For more information and culinary inspiration, follow ASMI on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Additionally, to help consumers take advantage of all of Alaska’s wild whitefish varieties, ASMI developed a “How to Fillet a Wild Alaska Halibut” video and the Alaska Whitefish Buyer’s Guide.


About Alaska Seafood:

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) is a partnership of the State of Alaska and the Alaska seafood industry promoting the benefits of wild and sustainable Alaska seafood and offering seafood industry education. The seafood industry is Alaska’s largest private sector employer with nearly 60 percent of all seafood and 90-95 percent of wild salmon harvested in the U.S. coming from Alaska. Alaska is known for its wild salmon, crab and whitefish varieties, such as cod, sablefish, halibut, pollock, sole and rockfish, and is available frozen, canned, smoked and fresh year-round. Alaska has been dedicated to sustainable seafood for more than 50 years and is the only state with a constitution that mandates all seafood be maintained under the sustained yield principle. Alaska has taken a leadership role in setting the standard for precautionary resource management to protect fisheries and surrounding habitats for future generations and leading to an ever-replenishing supply of wild seafood for markets worldwide.



Pheniece Jones

Edelman for Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute

(206) 664-8632