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Halibut – Alaskan

Halibut – Alaskan

Hippoglossus Stenolepis

Market Name(s): Halibut

Primary Source(s): Alaska

Season: March - November

Size Range:  10 lb+

Wild Alaskan Halibut is one of the world's most premium & iconic white flesh sea creatures known to man. In the deep waters off of Alaska's pristine coastline, this species grows to a mammoth size, with some fish being landed at well over 300 pounds.

The massive size of the animal coupled with the broad, firm, ivory-colored flake & mild, sweet luscious flavor has secured it's position as a global colossus of cuisine with a seemingly unlimited range of cooking versatility.

Longline

This fishery – in the Bering Sea off Alaska, and the Pacific waters off Washington state – has been certified as sustainable since 2006.

Pacific halibut inhabits the continental shelf of the US and Canada, ranging from California to the Bering Sea, and extends into Russia and Japan. It is highly prized by fishermen and chefs alike: growing as large as 500 pounds, it has firm flesh and relatively few bones.

Halibut is caught by bottom hook and line. Its vast size helps fishermen target it. By using large hooks set at 5.5m intervals along a 550m ‘skate’ (groundline), bycatch and discards are largely avoided. Some redfish, lingcod and cod are also caught on the lines, which the fishermen are allowed to market; but most fish of this kind is used as bait for halibut, saving money.

Minimum sizes are enforced: any halibut less than 80cm long must be returned to the water. This is the size at which the fish starts to be sexually mature.

Bird bycatch in the fishery has also been significantly reduced. ‘Tori lines’, the flapping material that flies up over the boat as the lines are set, have led to an 80 per cent fall in bird deaths.

Alaskan Halibut reigns as one of the kings of cuisine due to its broad flake and luscious white meat that allows for a variety of cooking techniques and forgivability of offering a perfect preparation. These decadent loins work well oven roasted or with direct high heat allowing the outer parts to caramalize leaving the interior with a silky buttery mouth feel. These fish also take well to sous vide, sautee and raw applications.

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