Halibut Seafood Ratings

Halibut is among the most popular type of whitefish. While it’s annual catch is tightly controlled to protect the species population, you can still find plenty of halibut out there and at a reasonable price. This fish is slightly higher on the food chain than many types of popular wild seafood, making it less suitable to eat on a regular basis.

Seafood Type Price* Taste/ Texture Nutrition Seasonal Availability Geographic Availability Sustainability Shelf Stable

* A higher rating means a lower average price for this type of seafood.

Price: Halibut prices per pound are very much in the middle for wild types of seafood. Around $20-$40 per pound, this won’t be a cheap meal for most people, but it can be easily accommodated as an occasional treat.

Taste and Texture: A firm, lean, flaky fish, halibut has a mildly sweet taste. It’s sometimes compared to lobster, but with a fishier taste. The leanness of the halibut fillet also makes this fish easier to overcook than other fish, especially when previously frozen.

Nutrition: We don’t recommend eating halibut more than a couple times a week, especially if you have other sources of mercury in your diet. Otherwise, halibut has a very good nutritional profile with tons of protein and fatty acids per calorie. As an occasional treat, this seafood choice can be part of a healthy and varied diet. A 6 oz serving of halibut has 185 calories, 35 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat, and 0.24 ppm of mercury.

Seasonal Availability: Halibut season runs from March to November. Ketchikan is one of the most popular watersheds for Alaskan halibut and are plentiful from June to August. During these summer months, you can find a variety of halibut cuts including steaks, fillets, and cheeks. Due to the shelf life of frozen halibut, you can find this fish at restaurants and some seafood markets year-round.

Geographic Availability: Alaskan halibut doesn’t have the same size international market as Alaskan salmon, but you can still get wild halibut shipped to your front door pretty much anywhere in the U.S. The limited domestic supply and the large range of pacific Halibut limit export shipping. Much of the halibut eaten in the East comes from Russia. The U.S. and Canada provide most of the rest of the global supply.

Sustainability: Halibut populations are neither threatened, nor overly abundant. Because the fish is slow to mature and reproduce, halibut harvesting is tightly controlled and have been dropping in recent years to ensure sustainable levels. Bottom longlining is believed to have minimal damage on the local ecosystem, though its effect on coral is poorly understood. There is also a concern with bycatch of seabirds that attack baited hooks as they come out of the water.

Shelf Stable: Frozen and vacuum-sealed halibut should last about 6 months. Once thawed, it should be cooked within 1-2 days. Cooked halibut will last about 3 days in the refrigerator and 3-6 months if promptly placed in the freezer.


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