Now this might catch you off guard if this showed up on your filet table.

An Alaskan fisherman caught a rare blue tinted lingcod in the Pacific Ocean and it was shared on Facebook. Though usually white-hued like halibut, the lingcod, a West Coast bottom-dwelling species, occasionally has an alien-like blue tint to it. The cause of this rare turquoise color is due to a bile pigment called biliverdin, which is responsible for turning the blood serum of these fish that freakishly odd color – but how this pigment gets into the tissues and flesh of the fish, or why only some lingcod turn this striking shade, still leaves biologists puzzled. Biliverdin is also the pigment that is responsible for that greenish color sometimes seen in bruises.

Although this fish looks like it’s been marinating in a tray of Blue No. 2 food dye, these rare, smurf-looking fish taste the same as their white brethren. And during cooking, the blue color vanishes entirely. Lingcod – a member of the greenling family – isn’t the only West Coast species to turn up with blue-green meat. Its cousins, the rock greenling and the kelp greenling, are sometimes tinted turquoise. With all that being said, anybody up for some blue sushi?

Image via Facebook

  • Marsha G Sanders

    I was told it is because of the seaweed it was feeding in, like the flamingos that turn pink when they are eating the pink shrimp, and fade back to white.beige when they are into the brown shrimp…some of the seaweed and food has that effect when digested by the cod…and they do have a bit more of a pleasant seaweed saltiness to them..they seem rare because they rarely make it off the dock…fishermen and dock workers snag em before they make it into the fisheries

    • John ONeil

      They actually don’t taste any different than the others and though scientists don’t understand what turns them blue, it’s believed that it does have something to do with their diet. Also, contrary to popular belief, they aren’t actually a species of cod.

  • Martin Fredrickson

    Rare? Maybe further north but certainly not in Southern California, probably 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 have the blue pigmentation here.

  • Martin Fredrickson

    Cabezon also sometimes have blue or green meat too.

    • Truhawk


  • John ONeil

    Definitely not rare, about 20% of lingcod caught in SE Alaska are like that. An even higher percentage of lingcod caught in California have blue meat.

  • Fishfinder707

    Not rare at all in northern california every lingcod I’ve ever caught had that bluish color flesh

  • Truhawk

    Catch them every year off Washington coast…maybe not as frequently as we used to, but “extremely rare”? Nope…caught quite a few in Alaska too.

  • Dave Spiker

    Catch all the time on West side of Vancouver Island!! Best dinner ever!!!

  • Sinbad 1

    there not that rare My buddy just caught one off the east coast of Vancouver island 5 days ago.Have pics I’ve eating them before they are very tasty. People catch them all the time in BC

  • robert christenson

    I catch them all the time out of Lapush, Wa. Not rare at all.

  • M. Odell

    Blue lingcod aren’t rare, 20% of them are that color.