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Greenland Halibut

PC040graludaOrigin – Iceland, Norway, Canada

  • Presentation – HGT, Heads, Frames

Fisheries

The Greenland halibut is a deepwater flatfish which is known to many people under many names. To Americans it’s the Greenland halibut, to eastern Canadians the “Greenland turbot” or “Newfoundland turbot”, to English fishermen the “blue halibut”, to Danes the “hellefisk, to Greenlanders the “kaleralik”, and to German fishermen, the “black halibut”.

This marine fish is similar to the common or Atlantic halibut, except that it is much smaller (reaching a maximum size of 120 centimetres and a weight of 25 kilograms). The upper side is also darker in colour. Hence, its other names: the black or blue halibut, and the lesser or mock halibut.

In the past, Canadian fishermen were forced to compete with many foreign fleets seeking the Greenland halibut in the northwestern Atlantic. Since the 1977 establishment of the 200-mile fishing zone, however, the foreign effort has been phased out in many areas, and the Canadian harvest of this lucrative species has vastly improved.

Use as food

The Greenland halibut is a voracious feeder. Whole, yet only slightly smaller fish of species which share the same niche in the ocean have been found in the stomachs of halibut. Small fish (less than 20 centimetres in length) feed on plankton and shrimp like crustaceans, while larger fish (up to 80 centimetres) in the southern Labrador and Newfoundland areas, eat mainly capelin. Those that swim in the deep channels of northern Labrador and West Greenland live mainly on shrimp. Very large halibut feed heavily on larger fish such as squid, cod, redfish and even other Greenland halibut.