Pike’s Place Market in Seattle where fresh halibut fillets are selling for $37.99/lb
This year’s Pacific halibut fishery was extended by a month to December 7 and prices and demand remain stronger than ever. And fishermen are responding to the call for fresh fish.
From mid-October through November 1 just under 5 million pounds of halibut crossed the docks from all fishing regions combined.. In all, October landings topped 6 million pounds, coming mostly from the Central Gulf of Alaska and Southeast.
With just a few weeks left to go, 88% of Alaska’s catch limit of 18.5 million pounds has been taken with about two million pounds remaining.
Amazingly, prices have remained sky high, topping $8 a pound at Homer ($7.55-$7.80-$8.05). Halibut at Kodiak was fetching $7.85 straight and $7 across the board at Sitka, according to Alaska Boats and Permit’s weekly Fish Ticket.
FishEx in Anchorage has fresh halibut selling for $42.95 per pound; at New Sagaya, five pounds of fresh halibut fillets is featured for $219.
Halibut has become a “fish of choice” says Rochelle Reierson of Tradex –
“Looking back at January 2020 when we spoke to David Wilson (Executive Director of the International Pacific Halibut Commission), he was “hopeful of an improved operating environment that will include an increased domestic demand for Pacific halibut as the fish of choice for restaurant tables throughout Canada and the USA. With landings already above last year’s levels, and scarce inventories felt throughout the entire year, it seems the Halibut industry got exactly what they were hopeful for.”
Frozen halibut also has been making its way into markets but inventories are tight.
The shortfall is being made up by increasing amounts from Canada. Trade data show 14 million pounds of halibut was imported to the U.S. for a price of more than $105 million.