One of the best eating and a very popular game fish is the Halibut.
This well known and much sought after fish is one from the flat fish family.
It is a valuable small buisness fish bacause of it's vitamin bearing oil and as a food source.
The Halibut has a large mouth gaping back to the eyes.The mouth has sharp teeth.Eyes and coloring are on the right side.Compared to other flat fish it is somewhat more elengated and narrow with eyes more widely spread.It's color varies from chocolate to olive on the upper side with indistinct and irregular dark markings sometimes enclosing a light center area.The blind side is usually white and often becomes blotched in larger specimens.These are known to fishermen as greys.
The halibut is a giant among marine fish and weighs up to 700 pounds.A halibut 7 to 8 feet long weighs around 300 to 350 pounds.It is a very slow growing fish which on average reachs a length of 22 inchs in 5 years.and 37 in 10 years.
The north atlantic halibut inhabits the area from New York to Iceland and Greeenland.
They are also caught on the european coast as far south as the english channel.
Reproduction occurs from April to September in the western atlantic and apparently the slopes of the offshore banks east of Cape Cod serve as spawning grounds.It is very prolific and a female weighing 200 pounds has been known to hold more then 2 million eggs.The eggs are bouyant and the young larval stages are found near the surface.When young larvae are more then 1/2 inch long the eye begins to migrate to the right side.When 4 inches long the young are found on the bottom.
The halibut is a voracious creature that feeds mostly on other fish.Among these fish are the commercially important cod,haddock,hake,mackeral,flounders,clams,lobster and crabs.It is the prey of seals and Greenland sharks.
The fishing technic is using a hook and line.Most are taken by commercial fishermen.
Most halibut are caught by line trawlers which fish between 600 and 1200 feet deep.Most halibut are marketed fresh or frozen and the flesh especially the 20 pound specimens known (chicken halibut) are regarded for their taste.The livers provide valuable vitamin oil.