Certified as sustainable in July 2010
Species: Sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria)
Location: Canadian Pacific EEZ
Fishing methods: Longline Korean trap and longline
Number of fisheries: 1
More about sablefish
Sablefish is one of only two members of the Anoplopomatidae family and the only species of the Genus. It is a highly migratory fish which occurs over a wide area of the North Pacific. In the north-eastern Pacific it is found from northern Mexico to the Gulf of Alaska, westward to the Aleutian Islands and into the Bering Sea.
Sablefish are a deep water demersal species found generally at depths from 150 m. to 1,500 m. but primarily between 400 m. and 1,000 m. along the continental slope, shelf gullies, in deep fjords and around offshore seamounts. They have no swim bladder.
Sablefish are voracious predators that mainly eat fish but will also feed on demersal invertebrates. Growth rates can be rapid with most growth occurring in the first five years. They are potentially long lived fish with a maximum recorded age of 114 years.
More about the fishing methods
Traps capture the fish alive and consist of a conical shaped steel frame covered with a singlepiece of nylon netting. The netting is attached so that the top is permanently enclosed and the bottom can be opened and closed with a draw string. One side panel is left uncovered to accommodate the trap entrance which contains a tunnel extending into the centre of the trap.
All traps require an escape ring to allow small fish to escape. The sablefish are attracted to the bait and enter through the tunnel. Once inside the trap the fish larger than the escape ring are unable to escape. The complete gear is usually consists of 5 strings each consisting of 50 to 60 pots.
Longlining involves the use of a longline with a series of baited hooks fished directly on the bottom and held in position by anchors attached to one or both ends of the mainline. This type of gear can be modified to fish off-bottom by the addition of floats along the mainline. The longline is deployed from the stern of the vessel and baited hooks and floats are attached at desired intervals. The long line is about 2 miles in length.
For the 2009/2010 fishery, the sablefish coastwide TAC was set at 2,450 metric tonnes.
95% of Canadian sablefish is exported, with the majority (approximately 83% of the total catch) exported to Japan as a commodity product.12% is exported elsewhere,mainly to the US, but also to Europe and China, while the remaining 5% is consumed within the domestic market and includes value-added products such as smoked and unsmoked sablefish fillets and steaks.
Actual eligibility date
The date of certification, 29th July 2010.