Swordfish

SwordfishWith flesh that varies in color from white and ivory to pink and orange, it has a firm texture, high oil content and is moist and flavorful if not overcooked. Swordfish are harvested in both temperate and tropical waters,  In the United States they are caught off the California and New England Coast in the summer and fall, around the Hawaiian Islands, and in the Gulf of Mexico and off Florida’s East Coast in the winter. Originally fished by harpoon, swordfish are now caught mostly by longline and gillnet, often on the high seas hundreds of miles from land. The firm, juicy white meat of swordfish is a favorite of chefs in the U.S., the world’s largest single market for swordfish. A big, voracious predator, swordfish can exceed 1,000 pounds. The U.S. is a major market for swordfish, consuming an estimated 15,000 tons a year, but American fishermen catch just 5% of the annual worldwide swordfish catch. Much of it is imported by companies like Tasty Seafood Co. We source our swordfish from Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica. Swordfish vary considerably in size, but the larger fish are valued, and given differing names. Fresh swordfish “bullets” are landed headed and gutted, with their tail on and fins off. Bullets larger than 100 pounds are called “markers,” 50 to 99 pounds are called “mediums,” and 25 to 49 pounds are called “pups.” At Tasty Seafood Co. we insist on only the highest quality and freshness of the fish we sell and we monitor quality in our warehouse prior to shipping. As swordfish migrate across large areas of the ocean, US Fishermen’s landings from are highly seasonal, especially in the more temperate waters at the extremes of the animal’s migratory range. In California, for example, swordfish are only landed in significant quantities from October to January. Off the Northeast U.S., swordfish are landed from July to October. However, in warmer waters, such as off Hawaii, swordfish are landed year-round. Swordfish catch also fluctuates depending upon the cycle of the moon. Since swordfish are harder to catch when the moon is bright (making the lightsticks fishermen attach to their longlines less effective), most swordfish boats will offload their catch when the moon is full, temporarily glutting the fresh market. As a result, the best buys on fresh swordfish are usually during the full moon.