Blue Ocean Institute


Species has a combination of problems such as overfishing, high bycatch, and poor management.
Halibut, Atlantic (Hirame) 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.

In Canada, Atlantic Halibut are taken in bottom longlines with most of these fish sold in the U.S. There is currently no directed fishery in the U.S. and all landings occur as bycatch in groundfish fisheries. Management plans have been largely ineffective as most populations remain considerably depleted. Instead of Atlantic Halibut, try Pacific Halibut.

Full 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.