In this edition of Seafood 101, we are going to take you on a deep dive of Atlantic pollock (Pollachius virens). Known as pollock, Boston blue and coalfish in the U.S. and saithe in Europe, Atlantic Pollock can be found on both sides of the North Atlantic ocean and is sustainably harvested locally from fisheries in Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine.
Though it is much larger and has slightly darker flesh, Atlantic pollock is sometimes confused with Alaska pollock, which is actually a different species. Atlantic pollock can grow to more than 3 ½ feet in length and up to 35 pounds. They also can live up to 23 years of age.
Atlantic pollock move around a lot. Juvenile fish live in inshore sub-tidal and intertidal zones for more than a year, and once they’re around two years old, they move to deeper water. As adults, they move even further offshore, inhabiting even deeper waters in spring and summer than they do in winter.
Atlantic pollock is extremely versatile and can be used in any recipe calling for a mild, white fish, such as cod and haddock. Available as either fillets or in flaky, thick portions, Atlantic pollock can be baked, deep fried, sautéed and broiled. They are also a great source of lean, low-calorie protein – a typical serving boasts 100 calories, 22 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat.
Like many popular groundfish species, Atlantic pollock were once nearly overfished during the early 1990’s. It was only through careful management by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and the New England Fishery Management Council, in collaboration with fishermen and industry leaders, that the U.S. North Atlantic groundfish fishery and stocks of Atlantic pollock have returned and are once again healthy and at their highest levels in years.
Blue Harvest’s Atlantic pollock is harvested by our own vessels from MSC-certified fisheries in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank. It is also offloaded at our New Bedford waterfront processing plant under the oversight of independent, third-party dockside monitors – one of the best ways to ensure your Atlantic pollock has been correctly identified and labeled and is fully traceable to the source.
Blue Harvest Fisheries Atlantic pollock is all natural and available fresh or frozen in a variety of forms and pack sizes, including a new Blue Harvest-branded 16 oz. retail bag. Visit our products page to learn more.