Other Names: White Weakfish, King Croaker
Sustainable Fishing Methods: Hand Operated Pole Line
Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Rating: Best Choice
Biological Information: Despite its name, White Seabass is not white nor is it part of the bass family, instead it belongs to the Croaker family and is the largest of its species in the Pacific Ocean. They are known to reach more than five feet long with a diet of squid, anchovies and sardines. White Seabass can be found traveling in schools within Kelp Forests or near deep rocky bottoms reaching 300 feet. The males reach sexual maturity by 3 years old and the females reach sexual maturity at age 4 and produce the largest eggs in the Croaker family. White Seabass have a beautiful red and purple iridescent shine that when combined with their large size, makes them an incredibly beautiful and mystical fish. White Seabass has a relatively low fat content making them have a mild flavor, meaty texture and large white flakes.
Sustainability: White Seabass is a very well managed fishery in California with strict harvesting regulations. They are only able to be harvested after reaching a minimum of 28 inches in length and 7.5 pounds in weight ensuring that they are able to reach maturity and spawn before being caught. Seabass are fast to reach maturity, they are caught using a sustainable method of the hand operated pole line and California stocks are strong making them an excellent seafood choice. Most of the White Seabass in California Markets are imported from Mexico where they are caught using drift nets. Concerns over by-catch, habitat degradation and quality of fish means that caution should be used when purchasing these amazing fish.