Season: Mid-March to Mid-November
Pacific halibut are the largest flatfish in the world, weighing as much as 300 kilograms and reaching 2.7 metres in length. The Canadian portion of the West Coast Pacific halibut fishery occurs along the entire coast of British Columbia. The resource is jointly managed by the governments of the United States and Canada through the International Pacific Halibut Commission. The stock is considered healthy.
The U.S. market accounts for over 96 percent of Canada’s Pacific halibut exports. The majority of the remaining Pacific halibut exports are destined for Taiwan and Japan.
The average age of halibut in the commercial fisheries is about 12 years old. Females grow faster and live longer than males. The oldest recorded female was 42 years old, and the oldest male was 27 years old.
Pacific halibut are found along the continental shelf in the North Pacific, the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska, but are also thought to migrate long distances to Baja, California. Most adult fish tend to remain on the same grounds, making only a seasonal migration from the more shallow feeding grounds in summer to deeper spawning grounds in winter.
Due to their large size, halibut may be less vulnerable to predation than other marine species.