It is a voracious feeder – it will eat smaller species whole – and is highly mobile, migrating over long distances. When it is small (less than 20 cm) it feeds on plankton and crustaceans, before graduating to shrimp and capelin.
The species reaches sexual maturity late: males at 4-5 years and the female at 9-10 years of age. The male/female ratio is about even, as is their growth rate until they reach around 45 cm, at the age of 6-7.
After that, the males decrease and the remainder grow much more slowly than the females. Fish larger than 90 centimetres are all female. Females also tend to live longer, with specimens as old as 20 years. Males seldom live longer than 12 years.
Elsewhere, Greenland halibut is found in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean, Sagami Bay, the Sea of Japan, the Okhotsk Sea, the Bering Sea, and the Pacific coast of North America, just off Mexico.
The stocks of Greenland halibut (also known as ‘Black halibut’ in the Pacific Ocean) are managed at a national level. In waters that are under Russian fisheries’ jurisdiction, Russian authorities set the TAC for each management area. This is based on scientific advice from Russian fisheries research institutions (mainly TINRO), and is subject to additional environmental assessment.
Russian authorities allocate quotas to each fishing company, based on 10-year agreements on TAC shares between fishing companies and the Russian Federation.
Year | Global landings of Greenland halibut in metric tons
|1990 | 132K||1994 | 137K||1998 | 87K||2001 | 113K||2005 | 106K||2009 | 116K|
|1991 | 145K||1995 | 100K||1999 | 117K||2002 | 110K||2006 | 103K||2010 | 114K|
|1992 | 146K||1996 | 108K||1999 | 117K||2003 | 122K||2007 | 96K||2011 | 115K|
|1993 | 146K||1997 | 97K||2000 | 113K||2004 | 112K||2008 | 99K|
Composition of food per 100g edible portion
|Energy||172 kcal (715 kJ)||Non saturated fatty acids||9.5 g|
|Fat||12.8 g||Protein||14.3 g|
|Saturated fatty acids||3.3 g||Sodium||69 mg|
Source: Matis, Iceland