Wild halibut back on the menu – Fishupdate.com

Wild halibut back on the menu Published:  01 April, 2008

Haddock prices remain stable

SUPPLIES of wild Pacific halibut are now coming onto the UK which is helping to stabilise the very high prices of the last few months, says M&J Seafoods in its latest market report.

This popular restaurant fish should be more readily available with the Canadian and Alaskan fishing season expected to continue until the middle of November, when farmed supplies once again start to take over.

Cod and haddock prices around the country are also continuing to remain stable, with the Humber receiving good supplies, although some containers missed the market yesterday.

But M&J says that halibut prices, although levelling off at the moment could rise later this year because Pacific quotas have been reduced.

The International Pacific Halibut Commission has followed the recommendations of its scientists and set a lower overall Alaska catch limit – down by around an average of around four per cent.

Scientists have been assessing Pacific halibut stocks as a single, coast wide unit, instead of by separate regions, as they have done for 20 years.

Canadian and US fishermen, although unhappy about the cuts, have accepted the scientific reasoning driving the decision.

Kathy Hansen, a halibut fisherman and spokesperson for the Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance said: “No one likes it, but we are more concerned about sustaining the resource into the future. We agreed the science supported the need for the cuts.”

Reducing halibut size limits from 32 to 30 inches also was a “hot topic,” the halibut commission said. The commission will do a full review on size limits at its annual meeting next January in Vancouver.

M&J said there were no problems with farmed salmon from either Scotland or the Nordic suppliers and prices should remain stable. Tuna prices, however, could be on the rise later in the week.

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