Black Sea Bass
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Sea Bass, Blackfish, Rock Bass, Black Bass, Tallywag
U.S. wild-caught from Massachusetts to the west coast of Florida
A relative of grouper, the slightly delicate, mild-tasting black sea bass is a popular commercial and recreational species along the East Coast. There are two separate stocks of black sea bass in the Atlantic, divided at approximately Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Declared overfished in 2000, the mid-Atlantic stock (north of Cape Hatteras) has recovered and is now rebuilt, thanks to improved reproduction and growth rates and strict regulations that reduced fishing pressure on the stock.
Black sea bass is often confused with striped bass or tautog, which is also called blackfish. Black sea bass has a mild, fresh, somewhat delicate flavor and a tender but firm texture. Uncooked flesh should be sparkling white and translucent. The meat is snow white when cooked. Black sea bass is one of the best small fish to bake or grill whole, but be careful handling whole fish - a jab from the dorsal-fin spines can be very painful. (Seafood Business, 2011)