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Atlantic halibut

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/Keurmerk Wild
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General

Flatfish

Flatfish belong to the order Pleuronectoformes. There are more than 500 species of flatfish. Flatfish live on and partly in the seabed, only the halibut swims higher up in the water column. Flatfish have an oblong, flat shape and their eyes on one side. The upper-side, the eye-side, of the flatfish has a camouflage colour and the underside is white. It may seem like flatfish swim on their belly, however, in fact, they are laying on their side. Flatfish larvae have a regular fish shape, with eyes on each side and a vertical swimming mode. After 6 weeks, one of the eyes migrates upwards, over the head to the other side. From now own, the flatfish swims with their eyes up and their blind side facing the seabed.

The best known flatfish species in the Netherlands are sole and plaice. Other flatfish species that occur in the North Sea are the common dab, halibut, turbot, brill, European flounder and lemon sole. Flatfish are caught with beam trawls, pulse trawls or demersal otter trawls.

 

Atlantic halibut

The Atlantic halibut is found in the northern Atlantic Ocean. This species lives near the seafloor, often at depths between 50 and 2000 metres. They occasionally hunt at lesser depths for squid. This species of halibut has a lifespan of up to 50 years and reaches lengths of 4.70 metres. These fish then weigh around 320 kilograms.

 

Atlantic halibut

Hippoglossus hippoglossus
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Set longlines

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The Atlantic halibut stocks in the north-east Atlantic Ocean are heavily exhausted. There was a stock growth in the soutern water of Norway, but this growth levelled. The stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
is still small compared to the past. De catches in the south of Norway are low.

LonglineLongline:
Also known as line fishing. A fishing method in which lines and hooks are used.
fishery has relatively low bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
. In Norway it is prohibited to discard commercial species. This halibut fishery is not known for bycatch of endangered, vulnerable or protected species.

There are no complete [stock assessments] for halibut, which makes the stock management more difficult. The management consists of a minimum [landing size], gear regulations and closed seasons (for some methods).

De heilbotbestanden in de Noordoost-Atlantische Oceaan zijn ernstig uitgeput. Er was sprake van bestandsgroei in de zuidelijke wateren van Noorwegen, maar deze groei is nu afgevlakt. Het [bestand] is nog steeds klein in vergelijking met vroeger. De vangsten in het zuiden van Noorwegen zijn laag.

[Beugvisserij beugvisserij-2] (longline) heeft relatief lage [bijvangsten bijvangst]. In Noorwegen geldt een teruggooiverbod op commerciële soorten. Deze heilbotvisserij staat niet bekend om bijvangsten van bedreigde, kwetsbare of beschermde soorten.

Er zijn geen volledige [bestandsbeoordelingen bestand] voor heilbot, wat het bestandsbeheer bemoeilijkt. Het beheer bestaat uit een minimum [aanlandingsmaat aanlandingsmaat], tuigvoorschriften en gesloten seizoenen (voor bepaalde vangsttechnieken).

Atlantic halibut

Hippoglossus hippoglossus
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Gillnets

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  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

Atlantic halibut is very sensitive to [fishing pressure]. Decades of overfishingOverfishing:
There is so much fish caught that the size of the stock has diminished so far that it can no longer produce a maximum sustainable yield. The size of the fish populations is insufficient to reproduce in the long term. 
have lead to an exhausted stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
. Catch records of the last decades however showed a growth of the northern stock, despite a small decline in 2013.

Because the Atlantic halibut is high in the [food chain], the depletion of the stock has a large impact on the ecosystem. Halibut is mainly caught as bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
in gillnetsGillnets:
A fishing technique whereby passing fish get caught in the meshes with their gills. The net stands vertically on the bottom or hangs on buoys in the water column. The by-catch of species such as porpoises and dolphins is a problem related to gillnets.
and longlinesLonglines (drifting):
A fishing method whereby a long main line (40-100 km long) with transverse lines with hooks with bait is expanded. The line floats on buoys in the water column. 
. There is no data on bycatch of vulnerable and endangered species available for this fishery specifically. Gillnets have relatively little negative effect on the seafloor.

There is little known about the life and distribution of halibut but the management is largely effective. The system does not use quotaQuota:
The maximum amount of fish of a species that may be landed per country and per year; an instrument for regulating fisheries. 
.

 

Atlantic halibut

Hippoglossus hippoglossus
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Set longlines

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

Atlantic halibut is very sensitive to [fishing pressure]. Decades of overfishingOverfishing:
There is so much fish caught that the size of the stock has diminished so far that it can no longer produce a maximum sustainable yield. The size of the fish populations is insufficient to reproduce in the long term. 
have lead to an exhausted stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
. Catch records of the last decades however showed a growth of the northern stock, despite a small decline in 2013.

Because the Atlantic halibut is high in the [food chain], the depletion of the stock has a large impact on the ecosystem. Halibut is mainly caught as bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
in gillnetsGillnets:
A fishing technique whereby passing fish get caught in the meshes with their gills. The net stands vertically on the bottom or hangs on buoys in the water column. The by-catch of species such as porpoises and dolphins is a problem related to gillnets.
and longlinesLonglines (drifting):
A fishing method whereby a long main line (40-100 km long) with transverse lines with hooks with bait is expanded. The line floats on buoys in the water column. 
. Longlines have generally low bycatch. However, the bycatch contains endangered and vulnerable species like sharks, rays and seabirds. There are however no data available for this fishery specifically.

There is little known about the life and distribution of halibut but the management is largely effective. The system does not use quotaQuota:
The maximum amount of fish of a species that may be landed per country and per year; an instrument for regulating fisheries. 
.

Atlantic halibut

Hippoglossus hippoglossus
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Bottom otter trawl

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  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The Atlantic halibut stocks in the north-east Atlantic Ocean are doing very badly. The [stocks] are being overfished for decades now and are exhausted, without signs of recovery.

Halibut is caught as a bycatch species in other bottom fisheries. Many of these fisheries have significant bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
, but good data is lacking. Bottom trawls touch the bottom, which in the long term can lead to change in the diversity of the habitat and [species composition]. Especially the cold water coral reefs by Iceland are vulnerable to disruption.

There is a fishing prohibition on halibut since 2012 and a “release obligation” in fisheries where halibut is caught as bycatch. Iceland has a transparent fishing policy and has one of the most effective management systems for enforcement and control. Despite this, also Iceland has no proper stock assessment for halibut.

 

Atlantic halibut

Hippoglossus hippoglossus
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)
Deelgebieden: Barents sea

Farming- / Catch method

Set longlines

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The Atlantic halibut stocks in the north-east Atlantic Ocean are doing very badly. The [stocks] are being overfished for decades now and are exhausted, without signs of recovery. The catch of halibut has declined since the fishing prohibiton in 2012. Halibut caught as a bycatch species in other bottom fisheries is still a problem.

LonglineLongline:
Also known as line fishing. A fishing method in which lines and hooks are used.
fishery has relatively low bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
, however, the bycatch consists of endangered and vulnerable species like sharks, rays and seabirds.

There are no defined management goals and no long term management plan. There is a fishing prohibition on halibut since 2012 and a “release obligation” in fisheries where halibut is caught as bycatch.

 

Atlantic halibut

Hippoglossus hippoglossus
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)
Deelgebieden: Barents sea

Farming- / Catch method

Bottom otter trawl

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The Atlantic halibut stocks in the north-east Atlantic Ocean are doing very badly. The [stocks] are being overfished for decades now and are exhausted, without signs of recovery.

Halibut is caught as a bycatch species in other bottom fisheries, like the bottom trawls on witch flounder in Kattegat. Many of these fisheries have significant bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
, but good data is lacking.

Bottom trawls touch the bottom, which in the long term can lead to change in the diversity of the habitat and [species composition].

There are no defined management goals and no long term management plan. There is a fishing prohibition on halibut since 2012 and a “release obligation” in fisheries where halibut is caught as bycatch.

 

ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.

Avoid

Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.

By-catch

This fish is unwillingly caught while fishing for a different species. They are underused and should be eaten more.

GlobalG.A.P.

GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.

Organic

Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.

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