(Rachycentron canadum): FARM RAISED
OUR ROSTER OF FARMED SEAFOOD SELECTIONS continues to build, and our latest catch includes Cobia, farm-raised in sea pens eight miles off of the coast of Panama. Sometimes called the black kingfish or black salmon, this delicious, highly sustainable fish is being raised in state-of-the-art open ocean aquaculture technology. Perhaps unfamiliar to many in the U.S, the advent of reliable supply through aquaculture is rapidly putting this fish on menus of some of the best restaurants across the country.
The Cobia is a large, sleek fish with a broad depressed head, and a protruding lower jaw. A solitary fish in the wild, they are favored by recreational fishermen, but because they do not school, no commercial fishery exists outside of aquaculture. They have small scales, a dark brown topside with a white bottom, and a prominent dark lateral stripe that runs from the eye to the tail. Because of its horizontal pelvic fin, it can be taken for a small shark when seen in the water. In the wild they average between 20-40 pounds, although some have been weighed in at over 100. Cobia are found in most Tropical and Subtropical waters across the world. In the Western Atlantic they make seasonal migrations along the U.S. coast in search of temperate waters, migrating as far north as Maryland in the summer months and returning to the Gulf of Mexico in the winter.
Premium farmed Cobia are harvested to order at between 6 to 11 pounds after about a year of growth. Raised as fry in a marine hatchery, they are then allowed to grow in submerged deep water net pens in the open ocean on a high quality protein diet. Here, low density stocking allows them to thrive in a stress free environment far from shore and sensitive ecosystems in pristine, replenishable sea water. Free of any growth hormones, antibiotics, colorants or pesticides, the result is a fresh, all natural, sustainable fish – harvested humanely and ready for the table.
Cobia has a white colored, large flake flesh that is firm in texture and mild in flavor. Preparations are highly versatile: the fillets can be pan sautéed, poached, braised, placed on the grill, prepared sous-vide or even smoked. The freshness and quality of Cobia is so high that it can also be served sushi and sashimi style, or as ceviché. Because of its size and structure, whole cobia can be broken down into specialized cuts depending on the intended preparation, from loin cuts, belly fillets, collar, paillards or cutlets. This versatile, sustainable, affordable and flavorful fish is a contender to find its way onto more and more menus across the country.
Harvest Region: Sea-ranched off the Coast of Panama
Seasonality: Year Round
Yield (Fillet Percentage): 48%
Flavor Profile: Mild, fatty, clean
Texture Profile: Firm, meaty, large flake