A native to San Diego, Philip Harris has been a commercial fisherman throughout his life. He started fishing at age 16 and has since divided his time between fishing, construction carpentry and the marine industry. A fifty year member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, he tried to fish in the summer and work construction the rest of the year.
During the late 1970s he was the owner of the vessel The California Girl, commercially fishing harpoon-caught swordfish. In 1987 he qualified for a Coast Guard "Masters License" to operate commercial vessels for hire. He worked in the marine industry for nine years driving tugboats, passenger vessels and Oil Spill Response Vessels. Through upgrades he ended up with an Oceans Captains license for 500 tons with with 100 ton Oceans Sail endorsement and 1600 ton Mate.
In 2011 he started fishing sustainable, trap caught, local sablefish (black cod) with his boat, The Sea Nag. He offers live or fresh whole fish. Philip Harris is a member of the San Diego Fishermen's Working Group and the San Diego Seafood Harvesters.
Meet Phil Harris, Black Cod Fisherman from NOAA Ocean Media Center on Vimeo.
View an interview with Phil Harris on KUSI News here.
Owner, F/V Sea Nag
Black Cod / Sablefish:
The Anoplopoma fimbria is in the Anoplopomatidae family. It is referred to as black cod or sablefish and sometimes as butterfish. It is a deep sea fish that is found in the northeast Pacific waters. The average size of commercially caught black cod is approximately 2 feet with a weight of under 10 pounds. The fish populations are at target levels and are harvested at sustainable rates. When harvested with pots or traps, they have lower unintended catch and less sea floor impact than trawls. Black cod is a Marine Stewardship Council certified sustainable fish.
The black cod fishery off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California are managed through the Pacific Fishery Management Council's Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan. The Council implemented trip limits for the black cod fishery in October 1982; since then, it has been managed intensively to limit catches with limited-entry and open-access programs.
Cooking Black Cod:
Black Cod is a versatile, delicious fish. Its high omega-3 fat content makes it a healthy choice and a great alternative to farmed Salmon or endangered Chilean Seabass. It is often smoked, but it can also be roasted, sauteed, poached or grilled. A dish called Miso Black Cod was made famous by the restaurant Nobu, where the fish is marinated in sake, mirin, white miso paste and sugar, then seared in a grill pan and baked in the oven.