THE FISHERY The halibut fishery was rationalized, along with sablefish, beginning January 1, 1995. The annual quota is divided among participating vessels each of which has its own defined allocation based on historical catch percentages. The vessels taking part in this fishery are small vessels, with a majority of the boats being less than 60 feet. This fishery is very important to small communities because most of these vessels are community based. Prior to rationalization, annual quotas of 70 million pounds were taken in a one day derby fishery. This race for fish resulted in poor quality, low prices, and unnecessary injury and death to crew. After rationalization, the season expanded from one day to an eight month fishery which, in turn, improved safety for the crew, provided vessels with the flexibility to fish at desirable times, increased the quality of the product. As a result, high quality fresh halibut is available nearly year round and is desired throughout the country.
MARKETS Halibut is primarily brought to market headed & gutted or processed into steaks or fillets. There is a growing demand for halibut cheeks. This sweet, delectable meat, once really only used by locals, has caught the eye of many consumers and is fast becoming a delicacy in demand.
APICDA’s CDQ Our halibut CDQ is harvested from small vessels based out of our member communities. Halibut caught in our CDQ is frequently delivered daily to our processors, resulting in the highest quality fresh frozen halibut. Atka Pride Seafoods was even selected as producing the best fresh frozen halibut in Alaska by Whole Foods Market.