(U.S. Pacific, Bottom Trawl and Set Gillnet)
California halibut caught by bottom trawl and bottom gillnet is a "Good Alternative" because populations are stable, but these fishing methods result in high amounts of bycatch of other species.
California Flounder, Chicken Halibut, Monterey Halibut, Southern Halibut, Hirame
The legal market name for California halibut is California flounder. However, it may also be found in the marketplace as "halibut" and is often confused with or marketed as Pacific halibut - a different species currently rated as a "Best Choice." To be certain, consumers should ask what kind of flounder or halibut they are purchasing. California halibut is available year-round as fillets, steaks, chunks and whole fish.
Environmental Defense Fund has issued a health advisory for California halibut due to high levels of mercury.
California halibut is a popular recreational and commercially caught fish that ranges from Washington to Baja California, but is most commonly found south of San Francisco. The northern sub-population is healthy and abundant, while the southern sub-population is at a low, but stable level. Halibut are fished with bottom trawls, bottom gillnets and by hook-and-line. The hook-and-line fishery is very selective and incidentally caught species can be released alive, resulting in a "Best Choice" recommendation. However, the bottom trawl fishery results in bycatch of numerous fish and invertebrate species, and the bottom gillnet fishery results in bycatch of some protected species, such as marine mammals and white sharks. Therefore, California halibut caught by bottom trawl or bottom gillnet is a "Good Alternative."