Albacore tuna, Thunnus alalunga

 Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Description: The large, oceanic albacore tuna is built for speed, with a torpedo-shaped body, smooth skin and streamlined fins. It is metallic dark blue on the back, with silvery-white sides and belly.

Availability: Open year-round; closed to large purse seiners for a period of 62 days, from July 29 to September 28, or from November 18 to January 18

Taste: Fresh Albacore has a mild to medium flavor profile with firm flesh and large flakes. It has a high fat content which gives it a richness of taste.

Nutrition: Provides selenium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins; contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids

Bigeye tuna, Thunnus obesus

 Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Description: A close relative of yellowfin tuna. Big eye is commonly called ahi which means "good to eat" in Hawaiian.

Availability: Open year-round, until yearly catch limit is met; closed to large purse seiners for a period of 62 days, from July 29 to September 28, or from November 18 to January 18

Taste: Big eye tuna have a moderately pronounced flavor, a high fat content with marbling near the skin and a richer flavor than yellowfin. Like other tuna, the texture is firm and meaty with large flakes.

Nutrition: Tuna provides selenium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins and contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids

Blackgill rockfish, Sebastes melanostromus

 Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Description: Rockfish is a broad name for over 70 varieties of fish. Black gills are uniformly dark red and reside in deep waters.

Availability: May-February

Taste: Rockfish is firm, lean, and mild-flavored with a nutty accent. Its flavor profile lends itself to a wide range of rubs, marinades, and sauces.

Nutrition: Rockfish is a good source of niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium.

Bluefin tuna, Thunnus orientalis

 Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Description: Bluefin are the largest tuna and can live up to 40 years. They migrate across oceans and can dive more than 4,000 feet. They are fast swimmers and feed on herring, mackerel and even eels.

Availability: Open year-round, until yearly catch limit is met; closed to large purse seiners for a period of 62 days, from July 29 to September 28, or from November 18 to January 18

Taste: Bluefin tuna has the darkest and fattiest flesh of all tuna. It has a distinctive medium-full flavor and firm, “meaty” texture with large flakes.

Nutrition: Tuna provides selenium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins; contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids

Halibut, Paralichthys californicus

 Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Description: A large-tooth flounder native to the waters of the Pacific Coast of North America. A top level predator that hunts by stealth, halibut is prized by fishermen as great table fare.

Availability: Open June 16 to March 14 (trawl); Year-round (other gear)

Taste: Halibut is a lean fish with mild, sweet tasting white flesh, large flakes and a firm but tender texture.

Nutrition: A good source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Magnesium and Potassium, as well as Niacin, Phosphorus and Selenium

Lingcod, Ophiodon elongatus

 Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Description: Lingcod is a large and elongate fish. Its body is gray to brown, greenish or bluish, with darker and lighter spotting. Lingcod is not cod, but rather, the largest member of the greenling family.

Availability: May through February

Taste: Lingcod has a moderate oil content, firm texture, and a mild, but distinct flavor. It offers a taste and succulence similar to halibut.

Nutrition: A good source of phosphorous and Vitamin B12.

Monchong, Taractichthys steindachneri

 Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Description: Monchong are small deepwater fish found in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. They are popular in Hawaii, but lesser known in the continental U.S.

Availability: No designated season

Taste: Monchong has large flakes and pink-white flesh which is snow white when cooked. It has a semi-firm texture with a medium oil content and a mild but sweet flavor.

Nutrition: Rich in B vitamins, phosphorus, and selenium. Good source of iodine and omega 3-fatty acids

Opah, Lampris guttatus

 Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Description: A large colorful species popular in Hawaii. A recent discovery revealed that opah is a warm blooded fish!

Availability: No designated season

Taste: Opah has a rich, creamy taste and firm, fatty texture. The flavor is like a cross between tuna and swordfish — distinctive but not overpowering.

Nutrition: Opah is a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium.

Pacific skipjack tuna, Katsuwonus pelamis

 Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Description: Skipjack is relatively small and the most abundant and widely-fished of tuna species.

Availability: Open year-round; closed to large purse seiners for a period of 62 days, from July 29 to September 28, or from November 18 to January 18

Taste: Pronounced flavor and meaty texture

Nutrition: Tuna provides selenium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins; contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids

Swordfish, Xiphias gladius

 Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Description: Swordfish are large, highly migratory, predatory fish characterized by a long, flat bill.

Availability: May 1 to January 31 (drift gillnet); year round (hook and line and harpoon)

Taste: Swordfish has a mildly sweet flavor and a moist, meaty texture with moderately high fat content.

Nutrition: Provides generous amounts of the fat-soluble vitamins D and E; also a good source of potassium and selenium

Thornyhead rockfish, Sebastolobus altivelis/alascanus

 Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Description: Rockfish is a common term for several species of fish, named for their affinity to hide among rocks. One such variety is the thornyhead, native to the cold waters off the Pacific Ocean. It is bright red in color with accents of black and pale gray.

Availability: May-February 

Taste: Rockfish is firm, lean, and mild-flavored with a nutty accent. Its flavor profile lends itself to a wide range of rubs, marinades, and sauces

Nutrition: Rockfish is a good source of niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium.

Vermilion rockfish, Sebastes miniatus

 Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Description: Vermilion rockfish range in color from bright red to orange to red. They are native to the waters of the Pacific Ocean off western North America from Vancouver Island to Baja California.

Availability: May through February

Taste: Rockfish is firm, lean, and mild-flavored with a nutty accent. Its flavor profile lends itself to a wide range of rubs, marinades, and sauces.

Nutrition: Rockfish is a a good source of niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium

Wahoo, Acanthocybium solandri

 Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Description: Wahoo is best known to sports fishermen, as its speed and high-quality flesh make it a prized game fish. In Hawaii, wahoo is known as ono.

Availability: No designated season.

Taste: Wahoo has mild-sweet tasting flesh with a firm texture, moderate fat, and large, circular flakes when cooked.

Availability: Rich in niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium. Also an excellent source omega-3 fatty acids.

Whitefish, Caulolatilus princeps

 Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Illustration by Ubaldo Riboni

Description: A species of tilefish native to the eastern Pacific Ocean where it commonly occurs from central California to Peru as well as the Galapagos Islands; a commercially important species and also sought after as a game fish.

Availability: No designated season

Taste: Mild-flavored and flaky

Nutrition: A good source of niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium