The Safina Center

Koho salmon.Koho salmon.Photo taken by: Carl Safina

Species has a combination of problems such as overfishing, high bycatch, and poor management.
Halibut, Atlantic (Hirame) – U.S. These fish contain levels of mercury or PCBs that may pose a health risk to adults and children.

Atlantic Halibut can live for 50 years, grow to over eight feet in length, and weigh over 660 pounds. They are found on both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean as well as some parts of the Arctic Ocean.

Atlantic Halibut were once extremely abundant along the northeast U.S. and Canadian coastlines, but populations have crashed due to centuries of overfishing. Since the 1960′s, abundance has been historically low and Atlantic Halibut have been virtually eliminated from many areas where they once occurred.

There is currently no directed fishery in the U.S. for Atlantic Halibut, but the species is caught in fisheries for other bottom-dwelling fish, like flounder and plaice. Despite strict catch limits in place for Atlantic Halibut, the species is not recovering.

Full Seafood Watch species report here.

This fish may have moderately high levels of mercury that could pose a health risk to adults and children. More info here about mercury in Halibut. Check out our mercury in seafood section.