Chilean Sea Bass

Classification / Names

Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Nototheniidae (Cod icefishes)

chilean sea bass

Size / Weight / Age

Max length: 215 cm
Common length: 70.0 cm
Max published weight: 9,600 g
Length at first maturity: 38 – 60 cm


Pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous; marine; depth range 50 – 3850 m, usually 70 – 1500 m

Climate / Range

Temperate; 33°S – 66°S, 77°W – 180°E


The Patagonian Toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) is a large fish found in the cold, temperate waters (from 50 to 3850m) of the Southern Atlantic, Southern Pacific, Indian, and Southern Oceans on seamounts and continental shelves around most sub-Antarctic islands. A commercial fishery exists for Patagonian Toothfish; the meat is sold under the trade names Chilean Sea Bass in the USA, Merluza Negra in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay where it is relatively cheap, and mero in Japan, where it is sold at high prices. A close relative, the Antarctic toothfish, Dissostichus mawsoni, is found farther south, around the edges of the Antarctic shelf.


The average weight of a commercially caught toothfish is 9-10 kilograms (20 pounds) with large adults occasionally exceeding 200 kilograms (440 pounds). They are thought to live to fifty years, reaching a length of 2.3 metres (8 feet).


Southeast Pacific and Southwest Atlantic: southern Chile round the coast to Patagonia (Argentina) and the Falkland Islands. Southwest Pacific: Macquarie Island. Southern Ocean: South Georgia. Also known from sub-Antarctic islands and seamounts of the Indian sector.

chilean sea bass