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Old 12-05-2005, 12:38 AM   #1
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Chilean sea bass...why so expensive?

I just paid $20 per pound for Chilean sea bass, and I don't remember it being that expensive. Is it being overharvested and hard to come by?

I'll still buy it. I love the taste of the meat, it resembles that of crab. I think it lends itself nicely to steaming.

Any comments on this fish?

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Old 12-05-2005, 03:13 AM   #2
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Most of the seabass in the UK is either locally caught or raised on fish farms in the Med, mainly Greece, so I can't help you with your query.
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Old 12-05-2005, 06:10 AM   #3
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Chilean sea bass became so popular so fast that it's practically been fished out. A lot of restaurants won't buy it anymore, and the same with seafood markets. Where did you get yours?

Here's an interesting article that explains more - http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...2_seabass.html
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:55 AM   #4
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Thanks for the article, Marmalady. It made interesting reading. Especially to learn that Chilean Sea Bass isn't a bass at all!
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Old 12-05-2005, 12:03 PM   #5
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YW, Ishbel - It was a good article; makes me mad when things get run into extinction to satisfy commercialism. Grrrr.
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Old 12-05-2005, 12:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmalady
Where did you get yours?
I found mine at my local seafood monger in frozen portions. When I lived in Milwaukee I could buy it fresh, and I saw it all the time years ago for about 8 bucks a pound. As I've stated, I paid $20 per pound for the latest gems.

I know that some or most of you are sensitive to overfishing, but if you haven't tried this fish and have the opportunity to do so, check it out. The taste and texture is unlike any other fish.
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Old 12-05-2005, 06:46 PM   #7
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Yes, I do remember it being about $8/lb some time ago. And you're right, it's a wonderful fish - but there are other wonderful fishies out there, too.

Off topic, but I recently saw an episode of Crocodile Hunter (I confess, I'm an Irwin groupie!) where he was trying to save some sharks who had been 'fished' by the local Indonesions to make shark fin soup. They apparently cut off their top, side and bottom fins, and then let the sharks go back in the water. Awful.
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBlueMouse
When I lived in Milwaukee I could buy it fresh ...
Since it comes from Antarctic waters - I strongly doubt it was "fresh" and not "thawed" in Milwaukee, or anywhere else in the world.

I did have a chance to eat it, once, about 10 years ago and it was great. But since it has become overfished - I'll pass and hope the species has a chance to recover so that my grandchildren may someday have a chance to taste it.
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Old 12-05-2005, 08:33 PM   #9
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I'm sure you're probably right about the thawed fish, but it certainly was in abundance.

I'll continue eating it. It's not like I'm trying to be a snob in some high class restaurant, and it certainly isn't like the bear hunt that is to take place in New Jersey just to kill a mammal for the sake of killing or just to keep the pelt. I just really find the fish's meat a delicious snack. I'm sure that it wasn't myself in Milwaukee who bought a filet once every three weeks that led to the waning population, but rather the upscale restaurants that massively touted it to be something very special, although yes, I did contribute to the consumption.
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Old 12-05-2005, 08:39 PM   #10
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Well, my two cents worth from Marathon, Florida is that most resturants in thre US and in Florida will not order Chelian Sea Bass. For the exact reason is that this fish has been over fished. It is as simple as that. We must give the fish a chance to recouperate in some kind of fashion. And that is why there was a boycot or a whatever to not provide a market for the fish.
This fish is my favoriote! I love it with butter and garlic sauce with fresh lemon squeesed on the top! Mmmnnn Good.... and of course Grouper is also close to being this delicious. But the Cheilian is like butter!
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:27 PM   #11
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The link provided above is out of date (from '02). Chilean Sea Bass was indeed fished to the point of marginal commercial viability and was for a while nearly impossible to buy, but the species is already making a comeback. It's generally available now, albeit at a fairly high price.

I just featured it a couple months ago at the restaurant, seems like it cost me about $16 per pound or so.
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:52 PM   #12
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I asked about sea bass once on here. I saw a recipe on foodnetwork for sea bass which sounded fantastic, until I saw the price per pound of $20. Seemed odd to me, so now I know they are nearly extinct. I'll pass on the sea bass.
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Old 12-06-2005, 09:05 AM   #13
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I have had Chillean Sea Bass and I do like it. However, I am more partial to Dover Sole. Spotted Owl is pretty good, too LOL.
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:42 AM   #14
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I've had the sea bass, and it was wonderful, but I can be quite content with grouper. He's ugly, but so tasty!
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Old 12-06-2005, 05:58 PM   #15
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My husband and I really love sea bass, and eat it often, as it is farmed fish - but I don't know anything about the Chilean fish masquerading as a bass!
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Old 12-06-2005, 06:25 PM   #16
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Chlean sea bass (Really a "Patagonian toothfish" or something) and regular sea bass are two different fish.

The lawful harvesting of chilean sea bass is strictly limited so that it does not become an endangered species. Importation into the US is allowed but to do it legally, it must come from an area where harvesting is managed and have documentation proving that.

Thus, with a limited supply, the laws of supply and demand will automatically hike up the price of the fish.

Problem is, people catch the fish illegally, using illegal methods and ignoring harvest limits. The sneak the fish into the US and do not have documentation. They are the ones who are really endangering the species.

Unfortunately, it can be a practical impossibility for the consumer to know whether chlean sea bass is has been caught legally or illegally.
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:27 PM   #17
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I say, "Go for Grouper!"
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:10 PM   #18
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What about Monk fish? Really good like in Grouper and Chieleian Sea Bass.
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:18 PM   #19
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Monkfish

I remember when monkfish was considered "trash" and only meant for chowder!

But it is very good. And expensive these days. Like any fish.
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Old 12-07-2005, 04:51 AM   #20
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Mmm. You could never go wrong ordering Chilean Sea Bass. It was always exquisite: firm yet melt-in-your-mouth. I took my parents to my favorite place to sample this and was gratified to hear my dad rave about food for once. (He NEVER praises food. He'll just grudgingly admit that a dish is 'not bad', and only after some prodding.) So I scored quite a coup with the Chilean Sea Bass. After a few months, we went back to the same place and were crestfallen when told that the fish had been pulled out of the menu. I interrogated the waiter of course and all he could tell me was that it's now an endangered species. This incident happened in January this year.

Now I have a better understanding of the problem. Can't wait for when CSB becomes commercially viable again. Thanks for the info!
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