Halibut under scrutiny as Maine’s catch increases

Federal fishing regulators say they are looking to change the way they manage Atlantic halibut in the wake of a surge in catch of the fish.

The government lists Atlantic halibut as “overfished” and conservationists want to protect it. But many fishermen say the catch is up because the stock has been rebuilt over recent years.

East Coast fishermen caught more than 215,000 pounds of Atlantic halibut in 2015 in the most productive year of fishing for the flatfish since 1972. Catch of the fish in nearshore Maine waters is helping drive the increase, regulators say.

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About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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