Our Gulf of Maine Wild Atlantic Halibuts come from a responsibly harvested, local fishery that is being endorsed by both the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Maine Department of Marine Resources as a result of their ongoing Atlantic Halibut Research program. For over the last 6 years, Browne Trading has participated in this research by helping to provide the length and weight of fish harvested during the open season of May 1 until July 31. The sustainable program now allows each fisherman to take only up to 25 fish – with tags issued for each fish – during this open season. According to our Maine State regulations, the minimum length of commercially sold fish is 41 inches from the pectoral fin to the tip of the tail with head off.
Outside this open summer season, there is only 1 fish allowed per day per vessel. All Maine Halibut are caught by circle hooks only to allow release without harm in the instance of a fish caught that is undersize. In most cases, the fish are caught with a “gangeon” (trawl or line set from a lobster trap) or a trawl line with no more that 450 hooks that have float markers on each end of the trawl. Fresh herring is the preferred bait. In addition to increasing the rate of release for undersized fish, the use of circle hooks greatly reduces the trauma to the fish themselves, generally hooking them safely in the mouth, and not in the gut, adding to the superior condition of these fish once landed.
These fish are of highest quality and pristinely fresh, with an average weight ranging between 25 to 50 lbs+ each. Because of our proximity to these local landings, these fish will frequently arrive to the chef within 24 hours of being in the Atlantic. A versatile fish in the kitchen, halibut is delicious baked, broiled, poached, sautéed in the pan, and on the grill.
Catch Region: Gulf of Maine
Seasonality: May to July
- Circle Hook
Yield (Fillet Percentage): 74 %
Flavor Profile: Subtle, Sweet and Mild
Texture Profile: Firm and Tender with Large Flakes