Tag Archives: Atlantic halibut

Cape Cod fishermen have high hopes for halibut

On the U.S. side of the border Atlantic halibut are listed under the Endangered Species Act and fishermen are limited to one fish per trip. Less than a half a day’s steam to the east, the same fish is the poster child for sustainable fishery management and generates between $100 million and $200 million a year for Canadian fishermen. It’s a divergence shrouded in mystery as deep as the ocean on either side of the Hague Line, the boundary that separates the two nations out to the 200 mile limit of their exclusive economic zones. The target date to rebuild the U.S. Atlantic halibut stock to healthy levels is 2056, nearly 40 years in the future. click here to read the story 07:49

Are Maine halibut headed for trouble?

Go to Scales, an elegant waterfront restaurant on a Portland pier, and a plate of pan-roasted halibut with hazelnuts, brown butter and new potatoes will cost you $38, tax and tip extra. Go down to the dock in Lubec or Stonington during May and June, when Maine fishermen are allowed to harvest halibut from state waters inside the three-mile limit, and $38 would buy you about 5 pounds of halibut, if you could buy less than a whole fish directly off the boat. And that’s the problem. Over the decade between 2006 and 2015, the last year for which the Department of Marine Resources has figures, the boat price for halibut increased some 44 percent and landings increased from just 30,018 pounds worth about $139,000 to more than 93,000 pounds that brought fishermen some $623,000. Now federal fisheries regulators are saying that halibut may be in trouble. Read the story here 12:14

Atlantic Halibut under Council scrutiny as Maine’s catch increases

atlantic-halibut-1Federal fishing regulators say they are looking to change the way they manage Atlantic halibut in the wake of a surge in catch of the fish. The government lists Atlantic halibut as “overfished” and conservationists want to protect it. But many fishermen say the catch is up because the stock has been rebuilt over recent years. East Coast fishermen caught more than 215,000 pounds of Atlantic halibut in 2015 in the most productive year of fishing for the flatfish since 1972. Catch of the fish in nearshore Maine waters is helping drive the increase, regulators say. The regulatory New England Fishery Management Council decided last month to review management of halibut, which is popular with diners and chefs for its thick, meaty steaks. Exactly what form regulation changes could take isn’t yet known. We’ve identified that this is an issue, and this will be a priority for 2017,” Janice Plante, a spokeswoman for the council, said. Read the story here 08:35

Maine: Two weeks remain for ‘fishing for the halibut’

maine halibut seasonSOUTHWEST HARBOR — With a May 1 to June 30 season, Atlantic halibut can be a boon to lobstermen before the summer lobster season gets busy. Some are multitasking, checking their halibut trawls in between trips to get their lobster traps in the water. Home and restaurant cooks like the fish for its firm texture; the flesh doesn’t fall apart the way it does with haddock or other common groundfish. Halibut trawls have hooks on them, which must be circle hooks of a certain size. “We set out a trawl with about 80 hooks on it,” said Holly Masterson, sternman on Mike Carroll’s F/V Molly Hock, of a late May day when they caught a 49-pound, 50-inch halibut. Read the story here 14:04