International Pacific Halibut Convention

  • J. L. McHugh
Part of the Lecture Notes on Coastal and Estuarine Studies book series (COASTAL, volume 10)


The Pacific halibut, Hippoglossus stenolepis, is a right handed or dextral flounder, with both eyes on the right side. About 1 in 25,000 is left handed. “Holybut” was used as far back as the 13th century. It was derived from the word “halybutte,” which means the flatfish (butte) that was to be eaten on holy (haly) days. Its distribution in the Pacific and the Atlantic, where a closely related species, Hippoglossus hippoglossus, exists, tends to lie between 37° and 46° F (3° to 8° C). In the Pacific it has been taken from Santa Rosa Island off Los Angeles, California in the south, to as far north as Norton Sound, in the Bering Sea, then across the continental shelf in the Bering Sea to the Gulf of Anadyr and an additional 2,000 miles south to Hokkaido, in Japan. Commercial setline catches in the North Pacific have been made as deep as 600 fathoms (1,100 meters), but most are taken between 15 and 150 fathoms.


North PACIFIC Pacific Halibut Fishery Commission Catch Limit Incidental Catch 
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  2. International Pacific Halibut Commission. 1978. The Pacific Halibut: Biology, Fishery, and Management. Internati. Pac. Halibut Comm., Tech. Rept. 16 (Revision of no. 6, by Bell and St.-Pierre): 56 p.Google Scholar
  3. Skud, Bernard Einar. 1972. A reassessment of effort in the halibut fishery. Internatl. Pacific Halibut Comm., Sci. Rept. 54: 11 p.Google Scholar
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  5. Thompson, William Francis. 1950. The effect of fishing on stocks of halibut in the Pacific. Pub. Fish. Res. Inst. Univ. Washington: xii + 60 p.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. McHugh
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Sciences Research CenterState University of New York at Stony BrookLong IslandUSA

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