The Fish

Opah - The Fish

A cold-water fish with a warm heart

Opah are beautiful fish about the size of a car tire, also known as moonfish. Averaging around 100 pounds and 3 feet long when they land at the docks, these fish are silver with pink scales, white spots, red mouths and fins, and large, gold-rimmed eyes.

Opah are the first fish discovered to have a warm heart, meaning they can circulate heated blood throughout their body. This physiological adaptation and their habit of using their pectoral fins to swim rather than their tail is linked to a culinary distinction – creating one fish with many types of meat. Opah have seven distinct cuts that range from sashimi-quality top loin to dark, lean flanks that could pass for beef or pork.

Shop opah cuts at Catalina Offshore Products

Massive Opah breakdown

Meet Tommy Gomes

Previously with Catalina Offshore Products, Tommy Gomes, aka, Tommy the Fishmonger® is a culinary coach and advocate for local and sustainable seafood. His pioneering approach to Pacific opah, as illustrated in the video above, opened a culinary market for several edible parts of the fish that are typically discarded. This played a key role in Catalina Offshore’s work with NOAA fisheries in broadening the appeal of opah, reducing waste and increasing the value of San Diego fisheries.