Maine Seafood Guide - Black Sea Bass

photo of a black sea bass on the grassBlack Sea Bass

species description | season | status | regulatory authority |
harvest method | recreational harvest | health benefits & risks | 

buying & preparing | brands | certifications | links

Species Description
Black sea bass Centropristis striata


Some small aquaculture production of black sea bass occurs in other states. Black sea bass is a perch-like fish that lives from the Gulf of Maine to Florida. Mottled smoky gray to dusky brown or blue-black in color, with one long continuous dorsal fin. They live on the bottom, on offshore ledges and banks.

Black sea bass occasionally stray into the Gulf of Maine in summer.
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Status (see the About page for definitions)
According to the most recent assessment, the black sea bass population in the Mid-Atlantic is considered rebuilt and overfishing is not occurring. See for more information.
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Regulatory Authority
Managed cooperatively by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (under the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan).
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Harvest Method
Otter trawls and fish pots, also hand lines and lobster pots. Hook and line only in State waters.
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Recreational Harvest
Harvest permitted between May 19 and September 21; minimum size of 13 inches, limit 10 fish per angler per day. Fish for black sea bass in summer around jetties, wharf pilings, and wrecks.
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Health Benefits & Risks
Black sea bass is low in calories and fat, is a good source of selenium, and contains omega-3 fatty acids.

Black sea bass has low to moderate levels of mercury.
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Buying & Preparing
Black sea bass is a versatile and popular seafood, sold whole and as steaks or fillets. Treat similarly to striped bass or any firm, meaty, white-fleshed fish.
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Companies, Brands, and Labels
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Certifications & Verifications
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Northeast Fisheries Science Center Black Sea Bass Information
Black Sea Bass Description from Wild Rhody Seafood (RI)
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species description | season | status | harvest method | recreational harvest
health benefits & risks | 
buying & preparing | brands certifications | links | featured harvester