Alaska Halibut

Written by Jared Vincenti
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One of the biggest fish caught by commercial fisheries, halibut also gets a whole lot of attention. The fish can grow over eight feet long, and are energetic travelers. Halibut are solitary, and are found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

In the Pacific, halibut are found in waters off the coasts of Canada, Alaska, Russia, and Japan. Because of this situation, there are many international regulations in place to ensure that each nation can fish for halibut without disturbing one another's supply. The International Pacific Halibut Commission is headquartered at the University of Washington in the US, and monitors halibut habitat and populations to ensure fair take.

Halibut Fishing in Alaska

The huge size of the halibut alone makes it a difficult animal to catch. Halibut fishing is further complicated by the fact that halibut like to live in particularly rough waters, and you need a specially equipped ship to catch halibut. Halibut fishermen will lay out miles of high-durability line baited with octopus meat on large hooks, and reel them in a day later in the hopes of catching a few fish.

Thankfully, one adult halibut can provide a few hundred pounds of meat, so a light catch is still worth the trip. Commercial halibut fisheries on the Pacific date back to the 1900s, and the fish has been hunted by Native Americans long before that. Halibut freezes well, too, making it good for shipping (and sparing fishermen the ordeal of selling a few hundred pound of fish at once).


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