The Safina Center

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

Some problems exist with this species' status or catch methods, or information is insufficient for evaluating. Halibut, California (Hirame) – U.S. Pacific, Bottom Trawl and Gillnet 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 at a lower but stable level in southern California.

California Halibut are caught using several fishing gears, including bottom trawls, bottom gillnets and handlines. Fishing with bottom gillnets results in little habitat damage, since fishing mainly occurs over sandy bottoms, but catches some protected species including marine mammals and white sharks. Fishing with bottom trawls can damage the seafloor and catches numerous other fish and invertebrate species.

Full Seafood Watch 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.