Pacific Halibut

Pacific Halibut
Latin Name

Hippoglossus stenolepis

Group Name


Taxonomy details


Pacific halibut are native to the north Pacific, occurring in the northeast from the Bering Sea and Alaska to Baja California. In the northwest, they range from Siberia to the northern coast of Japan. They live on the ocean bottom at depths of up to 1000 metres. Younger fish live near the shore while adults live farther out. They are a valuable commercial catch and most abundant off the coasts of Alaska and British Columbia.

Species Description

Pacific halibut have a flat, diamond-shaped body, slightly more elongated than their relatives, with a lateral line that becomes curved near their pectoral fin. They have a large mouth with pointed teeth and a square tail. On their eyed side, their body usually assumes the colour of the ocean bottom, ranging from grey to brown to almost black, often mottled with a lighter colour. Their underside is much paler, a white or off-white shade. Pacific halibut are the largest flatfish in the world, reaching a length of 2.7 metres and a weight of 300 kilograms. Females grow faster and live longer than males - the oldest recorded female was 42 years old with the oldest male at 27 years old.