Surge in Atlantic halibut catch may prompt regulatory changes

Published on
December 14, 2016

Rising catches of Atlantic *halibut are leading regulators to reconsider its status as “overfished,” which may lead to higher quotas for the New England fishery in future years.

Fishermen on the East Coast of the United States caught 215,000 pounds of Atlantic halibut in 2015, the most since 1972. That has prompted New England Fishery Management Council and the Maine Department of Marine Resources to reconsider the restrictive “overfished” status currently in place for Atlantic halibut, according to the Portland Press Herald.

In the U.S., Atlantic halibut is mainly caught commercially off New England, with most of the catch brought ashore in Maine and Massachusetts. It commands premium prices, with high-end restaurants serving it as an entrée for upwards of USD 25 to 30 (EUR 23.50 to 28.25).

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lists halibut as a “species of concern,” but acknowledges there is insufficient information about the species’ stock and is therefore unsure of whether a listing under the federal Endangered Species Act is warranted, the Press Herald reported.

Last month, the New England Fishery Management Council decided review the management, the newspaper said.

“We’ve identified that this is an issue, and this will be a priority for 2017,” Janice Plante, a council spokeswoman told the newspaper.


*Halibut is the species being highlighted during Day 5 of SeafoodSource’s “12 Days of Seafood” campaign. Find below more relevant news and resources regarding halibut:

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