Species: Paralichthys californicus
Catch Date: 06/05/23
Consume or Freeze Date: 06/11/23
Captain: Andrew Hofkins
Boat: FV Whaler
Port: Santa Cruz
Catch Method: Hand Operated Pole
MBSFW Rating: Best Choice
Biological Information: California Halibut can be found up and down the California coast and are actually a member of the Flounder family. They start their lives with eyes on both sides of their head and as they grow one eye begins to travel to the left or right side. The side with no eyes becomes the blind side which rests on the ocean floor and turns white. The side with eyes becomes the top side of the fish and turns a mottled brown, camouflaging them from any prey unlucky enough to swim by. They are broadcast spawners and reach maturity in 2-3 years. In California the commercial fishing season is year round but they usually found in abundance during the spring and summer months. They are typically targeted in the Monterey Bay in depths of 40 to 80 ft. Halibut has a beautiful white, dense meat that is slightly sweet and delicious if not over cooked. It is great for grilling, broiling and sauteing.
Sustainability: California Halibut caught by Hand Operated Poles are a great sustainable option resulting in minimal unwanted by-catch or habitat disturbance. They reach sexual maturity relatively quickly and there is not a lot of fishing pressure locally. Trawled halibut from California and Mexico are widely available in local stores and restaurants but should be avoided due to high levels of by-catch.