The word “halibut” is comes from haly meaning “holy” and butte meaning flat fish due to its popularity on Catholic holy days.
Halibut Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Halibut Physical Characteristics
Brown, Black, White, Green
The Atlantic halibut is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, with biomass at only 3 percent of its target level according to NOAA.
Halibut Distribition

The halibut is a sort of flatfish or flounder, with the typical name “halibut” describing any type of among 3 flatfish species. The Atlantic halibut is the globe’s biggest flatfish species, yet it has actually been overfished. Halibut is among the primary fish commonly utilized for making fish and chips. Historically, it has actually been a vital food resource for Canadian First Nations and Alaska Natives.

5 Halibut Truths

  • All halibut are flounders yet not all flounders are halibut, although some flounders are called halibut.
  • Like numerous various other flatfish species, they have eyes on one side of their heads, generally best- encountering.
  • They are challenging to smoke or barbecue because of their reduced fat material.
  • Halibut food preparation techniques are steaming, deep- frying, or cooking.
  • Atlantic halibut are endangered because of overfishing.

Classification and Scientific Name

Halibut are participants of the class Actinopterygii of the ray- finned fishes and the order Pleuronectiformes that includes various other flatfish such as flounder, turbot, single, plaice and fluke. Their family is Pleuronectidae of the righteye flounders or right- encountering flatfish, which consists of 24 category and 64 species. The enunciation of halibut is hal- i- yet. Words “halibut” is originates from haly implying “divine” and butte definition level fish because of its appeal on Catholic divine days.

Halibut Species

There are 3 species of halibut. They come from the category Hippoglossus and Reinhardtius in the family Pleuronectidae of which the right- eye flounders or righteye flatfish are participants:

  • Atlantic halibut ( Hippoglossus hippoglossus), which resides in the North Atlantic
  • Pacific halibut ( Hippoglossus stenolepis), which resides in the North Pacific Sea
  • Greenland halibut ( Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) which resides in the north Atlantic, north Pacific (northeast and northwest), and Arctic Oceans


Halibut are recognized for having a plus size. Their top is dark brownish, while they have a white or off- white underbelly. Atlantic halibut can additionally be blackish or environment-friendly on their eyed side, while Pacific halibut are green- brownish and smaller sized. The Greenland halibut (additionally called Greenland turbot) is a multicolor brownish shade with a lighter- eyed side, and its left eye does not totally move yet remains in the facility. Halibut’s ranges are so little that they are unnoticeable to the nude eye. Their eyes are best- encountering. When they are birthed, their eyes are in proportion yet begin moving to the best side in a procedure managed by their thyroid glands, and when the head is completely hardened, the eyes are established. Their level bodies recommend that they are solid swimmers and can swim up and down, although they generally swim laterally.

The Atlantic halibut is the biggest and heaviest flatfish. It can get to 15.4 feet long and 705 pounds, while various other species can get to a weight of nearly 500 pounds, a size of 8 feet and a size of 5 ft. A lot of the biggest halibut are females. The biggest Atlantic halibut captured had to do with 700 pounds and captured in Massachussetts, while a 482 pound Pacific halibut was captured in Alaska in 2014. Atlantic halibut females often tend to evaluate 100- 150 pounds, while Greenland halibut evaluate 25 pounds. Little halibut are called butts and chickens, tool- sized halibut are called turkeys, and huge halibut are called barn doors.

Halibut on sandy ocean bottom
Halibuts are big flatfish with right- encountering eyes205868233/Shutterstock. com

Halibut vs. Flounder

Flounders consist of halibut, turbot, single, plaice, and various other flatfish. Various other fish species which are called halibut yet are flounders are discovered halibut, Indian halibut, The golden state halibut, and shotted halibut. The simplest method to inform halibut from flounder is dimension, as halibut are a lot larger than flounder. They additionally vary in physical attributes. Halibut are lengthy and ruby- formed rather than brief and rounded, and have actually somewhat forked, sharp tails rather than rounded tails. They are much longer than flounder, also if they are or else little. Flounders have right- encountering or left- encountering eyes, whereas halibut’s eyes are generally best- encountering. Halibut live further north than various other flounders and the preference is stronger and meatier than flounder.

Distribution, Population, and Environment

Halibut are aquatic fishes. The Atlantic halibut has a deepness series of 200 – 6,600 feet, the Pacific halibut has a deepness series of 600 – 1,499 feet, and the Greenland halibut has a deepness series of 1,600 – 3,300 ft. They survive on all-time low of the sea flooring. All 3 species reside in pleasant waters, while the Greenland halibut additionally resides in frozen waters. The Atlantic halibut is noted as Endangered on the IUCN Red Checklist, with biomass at just 3 percent of its target degree according to NOAA.

Where to Discover Halibut and Just How to Capture Them

You can discover halibut in the north Atlantic, north Pacific, and Arctic seas. They often tend to be 40 – 80 feet deep while they are feeding. The circle hook is the very best angling line approach for capturing them, while the very best lure is fresh herring, salmon stomaches, or geoduck clams.

Predators and Target

Halibut have a meat-eating diet and are predacious fish. They eat any type of fish or various other marine animal they can match their mouths. They are additionally cannibalistic. It goes to the top of the food web in many ecological communities. Nonetheless, the Atlantic halibut is endangered because of overfishing.

What Do Halibut Eat?

Larval halibut eat zooplankton. Adolescent halibut eat little shellfishes and various other base- house animals, while grown-up halibut eat various other halibut, octopus, crab, hermit crabs, sand crad, salmon, lamprey, sculpin, cod, pollock, herring, and flounder.

What Consumes Halibut?

Sea lions, killer whales, and salmon sharks are a few of the halibut’s all-natural predators Humans additionally eat halibut.

Halibut Reproduction and Life-span

Females are bigger than males because of laying eggs, of which they can lay in between 60,000- 4 million depending upon their dimension and weight in addition to their species. They duplicate by generating, with males launching sperm onto the eggs as they swim by. Females are set spawners and launch numerous sets of eggs every year. All 3 species generate throughout the wintertime in the deep water, near the sea flooring. They get to sex-related maturation at 8- 12 years depending upon the species. Their life expectancy is 21- half a century. Halibut over 25 years of ages are unusual, yet the earliest on document was 55 years of ages. The eggs hatch out in 12- 20 days and the larvae hug the surface area of the water for 6 weeks prior to mosting likely to the sea flooring.

Halibut in Angling and Food Preparation

Halibut is a prominent food and sporting activity fish. It is steamed, baked, deep- fried, or barbequed. It has a company, weighty appearance and a lean, light, never ever shady taste that is scrumptious. All 3 species are healthy and balanced, giving a wonderful resource of lean healthy protein in addition to selenium. The fish is utilized in various kinds of dishes. Nonetheless, it is pricey since it is unusual, with the rate increasing because of high need and high labor. The rate of an entire halibut at your neighborhood fish market can be $20- 40 an extra pound.


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  13. NOAA Fisheries, Available here: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/greenland-turbot
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