"Take a Pass on Chilean Sea Bass"


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
By now I am sure that most of you have heard of this new movement. It is a chef and restaurant driven movement to save the Patagonian Toothfish (there is no such thing as Chilean Sea Bass, as I am sure many of you are aware). The fish is in serious trouble from overfishing. Though, there are limits to the catch, another 2 times that amount is taken illegally by poachers. The fish is slow to mature, and really needs a break to get the population back on track. Years ago it wasn't uncommon to take 200 pound fish, now fishermen consider themselves very lucky to pull a 60 pound fish. Not only are we taking too many of these out of the ocean, many that we take have not even reached maturity and had a chance to reproduce.

Chefs, proved that they could make a difference a few years ago, when they became involved in a self-imposed ban on swordfish. In just a few years, the swordfish population bounced back and populations seem to be remaining much more stable. I urge all chefs (and dinners also) to embrace this cause. I have been doing it for a few years now, as I have seen this coming, thanks to the National Geographic Society and the Audabon (I know I didn't spell that one right) Society. Unlike swordfish, this must be a much longer ban, as this fish does not mature at nearly the rate that Swordfish do. Besides, there are so many other great fish out there to serve and eat.
Joined Apr 19, 2001
Thank you, Pete, for posting this. I've been 'boycotting' CSB for almost a year now. Hubbie pouts a little, as it's one of his favorite fish! But I just can't see putting a fish on the endangered species list just to satisfy our appetites and cravings! That's as bad as the 'trophy hunters' and the people who destroy game for the supposed 'healthy' parts of their anatomy, i.e. rhino horns, elephant tusks, etc.
Joined Feb 6, 2002
Ill pass on the msg to my fiance and the other chefs I know in this area who might actually sell this. Most places I know over here are mainly flounder and salmon places though. :lol:
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Remember this thread from a while ago?

Location: New Jersey
Posts: 546

Please try to spare the endangered Padagonian toothfish, and use that 'compatible' fish!!! Mahi-mahi is yummy with macadamia nuts, so is opah if you can get it; even snapper and catfish - although I do catfish with a pecan crust and brown butter sauce.

"Like water for chocolate"

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03-07-2002 06:07 PM

Dear Abby
Cafe Chef

Registered: Mar 2002
Posts: 61

My Dear Cape Chef,

If Dear Abby's kitchen boy ever retires, would you be interested in applying for the post?

Dear Abby is roasting you, of course. But my, what a delicious sounding recipe. Is there any objection to using actual sea bass for the sea bass recipe?


What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.
~Nora Ephron

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03-07-2002 08:44 PM

cape chef
Cafe Moderator

Registered: Jul 2000
Location: CT.
Posts: 2900

Dear Abby...

The sea bass would work very well, it does not however have the same fat content of some of the other fin fish I recommened.

So, I would under cook the Bass a tad to keep it's coligen in the flesh.

Also, Dear Abby, This is not the season for sea bass, it is a benifit to the species only to fish them in season (June/July/August)

Now the bass are happy to hold there roe.

Also, chilian sea bass (the real deal) is being so over fished, that what we see on the market is a charade or a mock of the real fish.

Dear Abby, I am flattered by your proposel for a job, but...you couldn't afford me.

BTW, are you still in syndication?

Baruch ben Rueven / Chana

More and More food is coming canned or pre-packaged, including food for thought.

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03-07-2002 08:56 PM
Joined Dec 4, 2001
OK Pete, you've convinced me. I didn't know the fish was in trouble so thanks for the info. I don't eat a lot of it as it is but I'll eat even less now. Like maybe none!

Joined Apr 15, 2002
:cry: Not only is the Pat. toothfish in danger, but when fishermen chum the waters for this fish, Albatross dive for the food and get caught up in the line and hooks. This is equally distressing to me.
Joined May 26, 2001
Chefs Collaborative and Environmental Defense partnered to put out a terrific little booklet, "Seafood Solutions, a chef's guide to ecologically responsible fish procurement." It's got a huge amount of sensible information, definitions, tips on preparation -- worth trying to get a copy. I think you can actually download it from:

Chefs Collaborative
Joined May 11, 2001
... and here's a link to an excellent site that Cape Chef posted a while back:

Seafood Choices

There's also links in there to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and National Audubon Society.


Founder of Cheftalk.com
Staff member
Joined Oct 5, 2001
That is a great website. I wasn't aware of the CSB issue. I like to make a point not to order any fish that is on the endangered list.

There is a great interview on ChefTalk.com with Scallop Diver Tim Hunt where talks about how harvesting scallops by boat is bad for the scallop popluation. You can read it here:



Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
In Chicago, the Field Museum will not allow any of its caterers to serve CSB at any parties held there until the self-imposed ban is over.
Joined Jul 20, 2002
Much agreed...as a new member, just wanted to say "hello!"

My restaruant company, McCormick & Schmick's has universally banned CSB off our menus for some time now, and as Im sure is the case with many, it was one of our most popular items!

looking foreward to more interaction with everyone!:chef:
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