Sablefish are a highly valuable commercial fish species with a price per pound even greater than halibut in recent years. The 2010 average dressed price per pound of sablefish was $5.96 for the state and federally managed fisheries in Southeast Alaska. Sablefish are often exported to Japan where it is an important seafood product, but it is also growing in popularity around the world and domestically as a delicacy. Sablefish have a very high fat content and are often smoked, but can also be prepared by baking or grilling.
In addition, sablefish may be growing in popularity as a sport fish target for both guided and unguided anglers. Sablefish are usually caught with electric reels due to the deep depths that they inhabitat. In 2009, daily and annual bag limits were established in Southeast Alaska with a 4 fish daily bag limit for both residents and nonresidents and an annual limit of 8 fish for nonresidents. As of 2010, no daily or annual bag limits existed for sport fish catch of sablefish in other regions.
Sablefish are also caught for personal use and subsistence using longline gear. However, as of 2010, only a small percentage of people use sablefish for subsistence as indicated by household surveys in Southeast Alaska. This is probably due to the deep depth sablefish are located.