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Halibut: Discard order and ban on fishing

It is mandatory to release all halibut over two meters back into the sea. During certain periods of the year there is also a ban on fishing.

Fishing is prohibited

It is forbidden to fish for halibut in the entire Norwegian economic zone from and including 20 December to and including 31 March.

It is also prohibited to fish for halibut all year round in the Norwegian economic zone within an area bounded by straight lines between the following positions:

N 66° 03′ E 006° 54′

N 66° 00′ E 008° 00′

N 65° 44′ E 008° 11′

N 65° 22′ E 007° 39′

N 65° 04′ E 006° 20′

N 65° 30′ E 005° 51′.

Discard order for halibut over two metres

Due to the high content of potentially dangerous substances, it is mandatory to release all halibut over 2 meters back into the sea.

The general injunction to release all halibut over 2 metres applies to the entire Norwegian economic zone, and to all fishermen (commercial, recreational and tourist fishermen) regardless of gear and area.

The order applies to all viable, dead or dying halibut over two metres.

It is a well-known problem that old halibut throughout their lives accumulate foreign matter that can pose a risk to us humans.

In a limited area on Sklinnabanken, there is a year-round ban on fishing for halibut (this means that you can fish in the area when the target species is something other than halibut).

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority's assessment

In its assessment, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority has concluded the following about Atlantic halibut:

  • Atlantic halibut smaller than 2 m (approx. 100 kg) generally have good results for both heavy metals and organic pollutants. They are safe to eat.
  • Atlantic halibut over 2 m (approx. 100 kg) have a high content of environmental toxins, also above the limit values for one or more components. This particularly applies to organic pollutants. They should therefore not be registered. Such large halibut must be released back into the sea. If the halibut is clearly injured, it must be killed before it is released. It cannot be sold.