Cooked Chilean sea bass with garnish
The Unfortunate Reason Chilean Sea Bass Is So Expensive
Following its name drop in "Jurassic Park" in 1993, demand for Chilean sea bass soared, leading to overfishing. Scarcity is one of the many factors driving the fish’s high prices.
Chilean sea bass take between 10 and 12 years to reach adulthood. This slow dance to maturity means they can't quickly reproduce and the species’ population remains under pressure.
In 2002, many chefs boycotted the fish in a bid to help stocks recover. However, illegal fishing, estimated at twice the legal catch, outweighed any positive impact of this action.
Higher transport costs also affect fish prices. Getting Chilean sea bass from the ocean to our plates involves a long journey, especially since they're often found near Antarctica.
Chilean sea bass are mainly fished by trawling, which involves sweeping vast nets across the seabed, indiscriminately capturing marine life. Around 46% of the catch is waste.
Despite the price, enthusiasts of the fish can't get enough of its tender, flaky texture and buttery, almost nutty taste. Chilean sea bass pairs well with countless flavors.
Although it's packed with protein and low in calories, Chilean sea bass also contains high levels of mercury, and consumers are advised to enjoy this delicious fish in moderation.