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, Pacific (Hirame) A fishery targeting this species has been certified as sustainable and well managed to the Marine Stewardship Council's environmental standard. Learn more at
These fish contain levels of mercury or PCBs that may pose a health risk to adults and children.

Pacific Halibut can live over 50 years, grow to 9 feet, and weigh over 500 pounds. They are found along the coastal waters of the northeast Pacific from northern California to the Gulf of Alaska and into the Bering Sea.

Pacific Halibut has a healthy abundance due largely to responsible management by the United States and Canada in a bilateral commission known as the International Pacific Halibut Commission, where annual catches and bycatch are strictly capped.

In most areas, commercial fishermen own shares of the total annual catch, eliminating the incentive to fish competitively. Most Pacific Halibut is caught using bottom longlines, but many fish are also caught by recreational fishermen. Seabird bycatch is a concern in the Alaska demersal (sea floor) or bottom longline fishery (which includes Pacific Halibut), but procedures are in place that mandate longline vessels to use seabird avoidance devices.

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.