Wild Alaskan Halibut
Scientific Name: Hippoglossus Stenolepsis
Market Names: Pacific Halibut
Vernacular Names: Common Halibut, Whitesided Paltus
Description: Pacific Halibut are among the largest fish in the sea and the largest of all the flatfish. They can grow to more than 8 ft long and 700 lbs. Halibut weighing in at more than 100 pounds are often called "Whales", "Soakers", or even "Barn Doors", while smaller halibut, less than 20 pounds, are often called "Chickens". The largest halibut ever caught while sport fishing was 459 lbs by Jack Tragis in 1996 in Unalaska Bay.
Halibut is prized for its delicate sweet flavor, snow-white color and firm flaky meat. It is an excellent source of high-quality protein and minerals, low in sodium, fat and calories and contains a minimum of bones.
Halibut is very versatile in the kitchen, as well, with many recipes for baking, broiling, pan-frying, deep-frying, poaching or barbecuing.
A fletch refers to a large halibut fillet. One halibut will yield four fletches. Halibut also yield roundish cheeks which are extracted from their head area. Halibut cheeks are sweet flavored and are considered a delicacy.
Life Cycle: The halibut life cycle starts when a male halibut reaches sexual maturity at around his eighth year and when the female halibut reaches her sexual maturity at around her twelfth year. The female deposits her bounty of eggs at the ocean floor where the eggs are then fertilized by the male halibut. A female halibut can lay from a ˝ million to 4 million eggs depending on her age and size. The halibut larvae will float near the ocean floor for approximately 15 days were it will then hatch and begin to free float at higher water depths allowing the deep ocean currents to disperse them around. At the larvae stage the tiny halibut look similar to other fish, having one eye on each side of its head. The larvae will stay in this form until it is about 1 inch in length. About 6 months after hatching the young halibut finally take on the appearance of an adult halibut.
During the first year of life the pacific halibut’s diet is mainly made up of plankton, as they increase in size and age they begin to feed on small fish and small shrimp. A fully grown halibut feeds on clams, crabs, fish and even other halibut.
Halibut have been known to live up to 40 years. The oldest known male halibut was 27 years of age. The female halibut grows at a quicker rate then does the male. The age of a halibut is determined by counting the number of rings that have formed on the otolith. The otolith is a bony structure that is located in the inner ear.
Run Times: Pacific Halibut runs are typically seen in Alaska starting in May and running until late September.
Nutritional Information: One ˝ lb. fillet of Pacific Halibut has 224.4 calories, 42.4 grams of protein, 4.6 grams of fat, 0.6 grams of saturated fat and 110.1 milligrams of sodium.
Seafood Nutrition Table
Alaska Halibut is a natural menu item for today's health-conscious consumer. High in nutrients, Alaska Halibut is low in overall calories, fat and sodium.
Serving size: 3oz. (85 grams) Steamed Edible Portion
Protein (g) 22
Total Fat (g) 2.5
Saturated (g) .5
Monounsaturated (g) 1.0
Unsaturated (g) 2.0
Carbohydrate (g) 0
Sodium (mg) 60
Potassium (mg) 460
Cholesterol (mg) 35
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