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This bottom-dwelling flatfish is native to the waters off central and southern California, can weigh up to 50 pounds, and is loved by sport fishermen since it can occasionally be caught from shore or by kayak in shallow waters. It is actually more closely related to a flounder rather than the Pacific halibut which resides in waters farther north along the west coast. California halibut is caught year-round, but it is most commonly landed in the summer and early fall.
Culinary Tips: There is no wrong way to prepare California halibut. It is delicate enough to steam or shallow poach, but is also one of the only flatfish robust enough to handle the grill. It can also be prepared raw for any recipe calling for fluke, flounder or the Japanese translation - "hirame".
Catch Method: Trolling Lines and Bottom Trawling
Sustainability: Landings of California halibut have stayed consistent in recent years which indicates that populations are not being depleted. The catch methods do not generate significant amounts of bycatch, and the management by the California Department of Fish and Game is effective and keeps fishermen accountable.
- MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Best Choice or Good Alternative
- NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index: N/A