Flashback Friday: Project Sablefish

“Project Sablefish,” the Perciformes Group’s inaugural private showings of the premium marine finfish from its proprietary in-door zero-discharge, recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) drew high acclaim from Portland, Oregon’s government officials, top restaurant chefs, marine scientists from nearby universities, and heads of local seafood commerce the first week in May, 2017.

Sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) also known as Black Cod is a northern Pacific marine species in high commercial demand due to their outstanding buttery flavor and chart-topping Omega-3 nutritional content. They are the first species chosen by Perciformes Group to demonstrate the ability of the Global Blue Technologies’ land-based aquaculture systems to be applied to commercial quantities of quality finfish. Perciformes Groups’ goal is to meet increasing consumer demand while at the same time decreasing fishing pressure on wild stocks.

Chef Yasuharu Nojiri, lead chef of Tokyo’s TKS restaurant group, was eager to sample the Sablefish. TKS group owns and operates restaurants in Japan and the United States including four locations in Portland: Shigezo Izakaya, Yataimura Maru, Kichinto Izakaya, and its newest Kuu. He prepared the fish brought from Perciformes Groups’ R&D facility in Taft, Texas for the assemblage of Portland officials, chefs, academics, and business heads.

Perciformes Group’s President/CEO, Dr. Tim Aberson, and the company’s Director of Research and Development, Chis Manley, were pleased to hear Chef Nojiri pronounce the sablefish “sushi/sashimi grade,” the highest possible seafood quality level. From a strictly business standpoint, Chef Nojiri agreed with the opinion of Japan’s most internationally acclaimed chef, Yoshihiro Murata (who visited Perciformes Group’s Texas facility) and said the sushi/sashimi market would prefer a 400-500 gram fish versus the current market standard of nearly five pounds (2000 or more grams). That recommended size, projected to wholesale at $12.50 a pound, would only take four to six months to grow compared to nearly two years for the larger fish.

The Oregon visit is one of three stops during the company’s West Coast fact-finding tour aimed at determining market acceptance and scouting locations for Perciformes Groups’ first commercial sablefish facility.

Pictured below are Chief Chef of TKS group out of Tokyo, Japan (left), Chris Manley (middle), and Dr. Tim Aberson (right), with an impressive spread of black cod and shrimp grown by Perciformes Group and Global Blue Technologies. This spread was carefully prepared by Chef Nojiri.