Atlantic halibut is a large flatfish found on both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean, and along most of Norway´s coastline and in fjords. Younger fish live in relatively shallow water, whilst older fish can be found as deep as 2000 metres. Spawning between December and May, females can lay as many as 3.5 million eggs in deep pits on the fishing banks along the coast and in the fjords. It takes 18 months to reach maturity. The Atlantic halibut hunts for fish just a few metres above the seabed. Wild halibut
White halibut is vulnerable to overfishing as it grows slowly, matures late and is territorial. To manage halibut stocks for long-term sustainability, halibut has been successfully established as a farmed species. Halibut commands a relatively high market price, so fish farmers are focused on ensuring that they produce a premium product. Farmed halibut begin life in special indoor stock plants, a protected seawater environment, which prepares the halibut for relocation when they have reached approximately 2 kg. Then they are moved to selected fjords, where they mature in open sea net or land-based pens, and are reared on a special nutrition-rich diet, which ensures high quality roe. The living areas are expanded as the fish grow in size to 6 kg, at which time they are considered to be ready for harvesting.
Halibut fishing uses net, trawl, Danish seine and other fixed equipment. Fishing is prohibited between 20 December and 31 March. The rest of the year halibut are considered to be in season.
Sold fresh or frozen; in slices, fillets and as whole fish.
Wild catch: A predatory species that eats bottom fish such as tusk, cod, sculpin and haddock, and pelagic species like herring, capelin, and squid.
Ocean farmed: Farmed halibut are reared on a nutrition rich diet of live processed seafood
Atlantic halibut is especially rich in:
- Protein that builds and maintains every cell in the body.
- Vitamin D, which is necessary to balance calcium in the body, which maintain and strengthen the bones.
- Vitamin B12, which is important for the body in producing new cells, including red blood cells. Vitamin B12 can contribute to prevent anaemia.
- Selenium, an important element in an enzyme that fights harmful chemical processes in the body.
More nutritional data can be found at www.nifes.no/en/prosjekt/seafood-data