Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) is especially prized for sashimi and sushi maguro. Also known as Northern bluefin, it is the darkest red and fattiest of any tuna, with a distinctive flavor and firm texture. It is also slightly less fatty than farmed bluefin, which results in a sweeter flavor. When serving bluefin, raw is always best. Cooking bluefin beyond medium rare is generally not advised as it produces a strong fish taste and aroma.
Our Proton-frozen bluefin is hand cut in house, vacuum packed skinless and boneless with bloodline out, placed in our Proton freezer, then stored in our super freezer in order to maintain color and quality of flavor. Proton freezing is a quick-freeze technology that combines an environment of evenly distributed electromagnetic waves and cold air. The process dramatically reduces ice crystal formation and cell membrane damage. As a result, fish looks just like fresh if used within 30 days of purchase!
Note that because tuna portions are hand cut, they will vary in shape. Also, our Proton-frozen tuna is not CO-treated like much of the frozen tuna in the U.S. Because of this, its signature red color will naturally turn brown if left in a traditional home freezer for more than a few months.
We receive our wild bluefin from local fishermen who catch it off the coast of California and Baja California. Pacific bluefin is highly migratory, moving between Japan and the eastern Pacific off California and Mexico. Though Pacific bluefin historically has been overfished, overfishing in the U.S. is not occurring. According to NOAA FishWatch, although Pacific-wide populations are below target levels, U.S. wild-caught Pacific bluefin tuna is a smart seafood choice because it is sustainably managed under rebuilding measures that limit harvest by U.S. fishermen.
For the last three years, the U.S. has been working with IATTC to rebuild Pacific bluefin stocks. IATTC is responsible for the conservation and management of fisheries for tunas and other species taken by tuna-fishing vessels in the eastern Pacific Ocean. As a result of the U.S. and Mexico reducing catch limits by 40% in the last three years, we are seeing the highest numbers of bluefin off California in three decades. Further, only a small fraction of the total Pacific-wide bluefin harvest is taken within U.S. waters, and U.S. fisheries represent just 2% of the average annual landings from all fleets fishing in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.