The deep sea perch, or kinki, has a vividly red body and large eyes and mouth. It lives at depths of between 150 and 1200 meters. The official name in Japanese is kichiji, but generally it is known as kinki. It is called menme in Eastern Hokkaido.
The meat is a light white color with plenty of fat, making it quite delicious. It is generally cooked in soy sauce.
In addition, deep sea perch is ideal for sashimi, sushi, hot pots, grilled, and deep fried. It is also served on dinner tables for New Years and other special occasions. Today, it is considered a rare delicacy, but from the Taisho period to the Showa period, the fish was barely consumed as food, instead it was used as a raw material for fertilizers.
Deep sea perch is caught in the Okhotsk Sea and along the Pacific Coast.
■Map / Main municipalities with fishing grounds
Nemuro City, Shari Town, Abashiri City, Kushiro City, Rausu Town, Muroran City
Deep sea perch are generally caught in tangle nets and trawl nets, but in Abashiri City, they use a longline fishing method to ensure the body is not harmed. Longline fishing involves a long rope several kilometers long with many smaller ropes with attached hooks dangling so that fish are caught one at a time. This takes a lot of time and is quite inefficient, but this method makes it harder to harm the body, enabling fish to be caught nearly alive. After being caught the fish are immediately frozen on deck, to maintain freshness.
Deep sea perch is caught nearly year round, including when sea ice approaches the coast in the Okhotsk Sea.