Blue Ocean Institute


Some problems exist with this species' status or catch methods, or information is insufficient for evaluating. Halibut, California- Gillnet and Hook-and-Line Caught These fish contain levels of mercury or PCBs that may pose a health risk to adults and children.

California Halibut is a flatfish found along the Pacific coast of North America, primarily from central California to southern Baja California, Mexico. They grow slowly, may live for 30 years, and generally become sexually mature within four years.

The abundance of California Halibut varies within California, being high in the central region and low further south. California Halibut are caught using several fishing gears, including bottom gillnets and hook-and-line. Hook-and-line fishing causes little habitat damage and likely results in low levels of bycatch. Fishing with bottom gillnets also results in little habitat damage, since fishing mainly occurs over sandy bottoms.

Management regulations in California waters is good overall, and includes a minimum size limit and a ban on the use of gillnets in nearshore areas to reduce catching endangered and protected animals.

Full species report here.

This fish may have 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.