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Halibut, Atlantic

Hippoglossus hippoglossus

Method of production - Farmed
Production country - UK
Production method - Onshore open circuit systems
Accreditation - None
Fish type - White flat fish

Sustainability rating Click for explaination of rating

This fish, caught by the methods and in the area listed above, is a good sustainable fish to eat. Click on the rating icon above to read more and on the alternatives tab below to find similar fish to eat.


Sustainability overview

Atlantic halibut is widely farmed although in small quantities compared to other species. Unlike salmon and cod, halibut can be farmed in closed tanks as well as in open pens. Choose halibut farmed in closed, shore based production systems such as those used in Scotland, as environmental impacts of production are mitigated. Halibut do have a large dependency on fish to form the majority of their diet, and the fish required to make their feed cannot be assured to come from a sustainable supply. Look for organic farmed fish that can offer this assurance where available. Scottish production is independently addressing this feed concern making it a good choice.

Biology

Atlantic halibut, the largest of all flat fishes, is a thick-set, right-eyed (both eyes on the right-hand side of the body) flat fish in the family Pleuronectidae. It is distributed throughout the north Atlantic, particularly Norway, Faroes, Iceland and southern Greenland, but occurs as far south as Maine in north America and the Bay of Biscay in Europe. It can attain a length of 4.7m and more than 300kg, but it is considered slow growing in the wild. Spawning occurs during winter and early spring. Atlantic halibut become sexually mature at 10-14 years, at around 1.4m in length. The oldest recorded halibut has been 55years of age yet models indicate that they could live for nearly 100years! It has been a heavily targeted fishery for more than 100 years and with slow growth rates, high age at maturity and a population doubling time of around 14 years, is highly susceptible to overfishing. IUCN list Atlantic halibut as Endangered (1996) and the species appears on the US National Marine Fisheries Service list of species of concern. Additionally the Project Inshore Phase II Report (2013) noted that under the MSC Risk Based Framework, the species was ranked as the 6th most susceptible species, behind some sharks and rays.

Stock information

Stock area

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Stock information

Management

We are just updating our information please check back soon.

Production method

Onshore open circuit systems

The production of fish using onshore-based, controlled seawater flow-through systems addressed the issues of environmental concern that can arise from open water production as interaction, and therefore impact, on the environment is prevented. The negativ

Read the MCS Aquaculture policy position paper

Alternatives

Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below . Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.

Dab Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Halibut, Atlantic Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Halibut, Pacific

Ray, blonde Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Ray, smalleyed Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Ray, spotted Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Ray, Thornback ray, Roker Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Sole, Dover sole, Common sole Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Turbot Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.


References
MCS Aquaculture Assessment Methodology 2012

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