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Common Names: Bedford, Saddleback Snapper, King Snapper
Firm, Flaky, Sweet, Mild
THE FISHERY - For decades, Fiji was renowned for a high-quality longline tuna fishery, with most of the fish being exported to Japan and the U.S. Japan would get the high-grade fish and we would get the cooking grade tunas and the by-catch pecies like albacore, opah, ono and escolar. As word originally spread that this was a viable and vibrant fishery, the small Fijian fleet was supplemented by foreign-flagged vessels (almost all Chinese) in ever-increasing numbers. Well of course this brought too much pressure to bear on the tuna fishery and over the past few years the tuna vessels. They began getting fewer and fewer tunas per vessel, to the point where the trips on a per-boat basis were actually not profitable. So now the (mostly) Chinese vessels are for the most part tied up idly in Suva harbor, and many of these vessels have gone away searching for better catches in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Our Fijian partners in the meantime are able to fish a bit differently. They are protected in Fijian waters (no foreign vessels allowed) to fish a robust surface longline fishery for mahimahi, and also the deepwater drop-lines for the tropical snappers (Onaga, Ehu, Lehi, Opakapaka, and of course our Bedfords).
THE FISH - The Bedford Bream are the most abundant of these "snappers", so for that reason they are much more menu versatile than flashier species. They have a beautiful white translucent flesh which cooks up very nicely, with a firm flake and texture in the mouth. The excellent quality, sweet flavor, and value, all combine to make our clients sit up and take notice! Of course we are receiving the "glam" species listed above as well, but the best value can be found with our Bedford Breams! Fillets will usually be about 1.5 to 2 pounds each. Prepare as any Snapper or Sea Bream.
Saute, Grill, Broil, Poach, Ceviche
Range & Habitat:
Southern Pacific & Hawaii
Hook & Line