Japanese Name | Sāmon or Sake
The common King Salmon is one of the most sought-after fish in the sea. Living in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans (as well as the Colorado River and inland lakes) Salmon are anadromous fish, meaning they are born in freshwater but live out their lives in salt water. The only time they return to freshwater is when it’s spawning time.
Fin Fact | There are six species of Pacific Salmon and only one Atlantic Species.
Japanese Name | Maguro
The Atlantic Bluefin tuna is a fast and large fish (average size 6.5 feet, 550 lbs.) built for endurance. The combination of metallic blue on top and white-silver bottom camouflages them from both angles, but they have not been so lucky with sashimi eaters. They are endangered.
Fin Fact | These speedy fish can retract their dorsal and pectoral fins into slots to reduce drag.
Japanese Name | Hamachi, Hiramasa or Buri
A yellowtail may actually be several different species of fish but in the context of sushi, yellowtail refers to the Japanese amberjack. They are native to the northwest Pacific Ocean, from Hawaii to Japan. In the wild they are bottom feeders and enjoy crustaceans and small fish.
Fin Fact | Every two years all mature yellowtails disappear from their territory for unknown reasons.
Japanese Name | Saba, Masaba or Sekisaba
These slender and small fish can be found swimming in large schools that can be as long as 20 miles. Mackerel have “schooling marks” which allows them to align and adjust their speed in the group. They have a long lifespan and can survive up to 25 years in the wild (if they can outrun their numerous natural enemies).
Fin Fact | Their eggs float in the water because they contain oily drops.
Japanese Name | Unagi
The Anguillid eel is a freshwater fish that fascinates scientists due to their long-distance migrations between freshwater habitats and their spawning areas in remote parts of the ocean. There is still no direct evidence of their oceanic migrations. According to Seafood Watch, a well-known sustainable seafood advisory list, eels are an endangered species.
Fin Fact | Eels are snake-like and swim using a sine-wave (S-shaped motion). Although they look smooth, they have small scales.