Canada Pacific halibut (British Columbia)
Certified as sustainable on 30th September 2009.
Species: Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis)
Location: The fishery takes place in Pacific waters of British Columbia, Canada.
Fishing methods: Bottom hook and line gear (longline).
Vessels: Up to 435 commercial licenses issued by the DFO each year of which 90% are represented by the Pacific Halibut Management Association of B.C. (PHMA).
Number of fisheries: 1
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More about Pacific halibut
Pacific halibut, (Hippoglossus stenolepis), is a flatfish which inhabits the continental shelf of the United States and Canada, ranging from California to the Bering Sea, and extends into Russia and Japan. Because halibut can grow to be as much as 500 pounds, is firm textured, and has relatively few bones compared to other fishes, it is a popular food fish.Halibut are known to live to an age exceeding 50 years although the average age taken in the fishery is around 10-13 years.Halibut are occasionally eaten by marine mammals but seem to be rarely found as prey for other fish.
More about the fishing methods
Halibut is caught by longline fishery. This longline fishery does not damage benthos and benthic habitats and can select fish species and size by choice of hook size and design. Halibut are large fish; hence, employing a relatively large hook size reduces unwanted capture of smaller fish. The vessels range in size from 35-80 feet with the average length of 43 feet.
For halibut, the North American Market is the major market, however some product is exported to the UK and Europe.
Actual eligibility date
The actual elgibility date for halibut products caught in the Canada Pacific halibut (British Columbia) is the 1st December 2008.
Halibut caught after the actual eligibility date but before the date of the certification of the fishery and sold beyond the first point of sale after landing may be eligible to use the MSC ecolabel, provided that any company having bought fish bears a valid Chain of Custody certificate.