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European sea bass
LAT Dicentrarchus labrax
FRA Loup de Mer
ENG Sea Bass
GER Europäischer Wolfsbarsch
A Highly Prized Fish
Sea bass has been one of the noblest food fish since ancient times. Its white, firm, aromatic and juicy meat, which has hardly any bones, is not only highly sought after in top gastronomy. When crisply fried or baked, it becomes a highlight.
“Bar de Ligne” refers to a wild-caught sea bass that has been caught very selectively and environmentally friendly with lines and hooks attached to it. Every single fish is caught carefully and not under the weight of large nets, which has a very positive effect on the quality.
The most commonly available sea bass from aquaculture differ significantly from wild-caught ones: the meat is much softer, fattier and has a more monotonous taste.
All year round
Interesting to Know
The European sea bass is a voracious predator that hunts molluscs and crustaceans as well as smaller fish to depths of 100 meters near the coast and especially at night. Young animals usually live a sociable life before they become solitary animals as they get older. It is found in the northeast Atlantic from Morocco to Norway as well as in the Mediterranean and Black Seas.
Sea bass can grow to 80 – 100 cm long with a weight of 10 – 12 kg. The females grow larger and faster than the males. The breeding season lasts from January to March in the more northern distribution areas, and from May to August in the more southern ranges.
Fisheries and Sustainability
Sea bass are specifically caught using various methods such as gill nets, gillnets and lines.
The state of the population of European sea bass varies depending on the area. While the species is considered overfished in the Mediterranean, the population in the Northeast Atlantic, especially in the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay, is healthy and can be fished sustainably. When purchasing, it is important to pay attention to selective fishing methods such as lines or gillnets with appropriate mesh sizes in order to avoid unnecessary catching of juvenile fish and bycatch.
The majority of commercially available sea bass comes from farms in the Mediterranean, especially from Greece and Turkey. These are not automatically sustainable, as the production often struggles with local environmental pollution due to fish waste, feed, and medication residues. Additionally, the feed may come from unsustainable sources. Labels can provide a remedy in this regard.