Calkins & Burke – West Coast Halibut


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Bottom Longline

Calkins & Burke

West Coast Halibut


Pacific halibut has been an important resource for people living on the West Coast for hundreds of years. Commercial fishing started in 1888 and today remains one of the best managed fisheries in the world.  That is not to say that there haven’t been some growing pains in the process.  Shortly after commercial fishing began, halibut stocks started plummeting and it was evident that action was needed to curb the over-harvesting.  In reaction to the decreasing numbers, the U.S. and Canada signed an agreement to preserve the Pacific Halibut population, resulting in the creation of the International Pacific Halibut Commission.   The halibut fishery was a popular one and many fishermen wanted to get in on the wealth that was being created.  With a great influx of applicants and the same amount of fish being harvested, the season shrunk to a short 3-day derby in 1994.  With all the fish being landed in 3 days for the entire season, the quality of the fresh market suffered.  Luckily for us, this soon changed and now halibut are landed fresh 9 months out of the year through an Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) program.  Companies like Calkins & Burke provide fresh, day boat halibut to restaurants across the country just hours after being caught.  Today the quality and sustainability of longline halibut hits diners’ plates with an assurance of freshness and a history of responsible management.


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