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Pacific halibut

Pacific halibut

Halibut have been fished for hundreds of years by native Americans on the west coast of the U.S. The U.S. commercial fishery started in 1888, when halibut were first landed in Tacoma, Washington.

Pacific halibut are managed by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) and through the Council’s Halibut Catch Sharing Plan, a framework that dictates how the total allowable catch will be divided off the West Coast. The total allowable catch is set each January by the IPHC, and each year the Council solicits changes to its Catch Sharing Plan between September and November, making final recommendations in November of each year.

Recently, the Council has taken steps to transition routine management of the non-Indian commercial directed halibut fishery from IPHC to the Council and NMFS. The Council is working closely with IPHC and stakeholders during this process. However, the IPHC will continue to set the total allowable catch for Pacific halibut, and Council will continue to develop a Catch Sharing Plan.

Current Pacific halibut catch sharing plan for Area 2A

Pacific halibut fact sheet

A man proudly holds up a halibut he caught
Jeromy Jording (NOAA) holds up a Pacific halibut caught in Westport, Washington.


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Upcoming Council Meeting

Mar 3–9, 2020

Rohnert Park, CA

DoubleTree by Hilton Sonoma One Doubletree Drive Rohnert Park, CA 94928 Phone: 707-584-5466


A man in a wetsuit stands on a rocky shore holding a small halibut


Robin Ehlke