Halibut Harvest: It’s “the biggest Scottish fish” one longtime fishmonger has ever seen, and it just sold for a record price.
“I’ve been a fishmonger for 35 years and I have never seen a halibut this size.”
So says fellow Outsider Gary Huckle, manager of Armstrong’s Fishmongers. Huckle has been handling enormous fish for the Edinburgh staple for decades, yet this is the first he’s seen anywhere close to this size.
“I’ve done big fish before but this is off the scale. It’s the biggest Scottish fish I have ever seen,” he tells Southwest News Service. The following photo shows the 287-pound harvest in all her bygone glory:
Caught off the coast of Scotland, the giant was 8-feet long and 4-feet wide. Its total weight, close to 300-pounds (130 kg), is unheard of for the species in the region.
Specifically, the mammoth haul came off the Outer Hebrides, one of the many island chains off the coast of Scotland. Aquarius, a trawler native to the country, typically catches cod and haddock. But SWNS says the halibut is one of their ultimate trophies – and a true shock.
Record Halibut Big Enough to Cut into ‘100 Portions’
The fish is of such immense size, in fact, that it will be cut into 100 portions. The deed fell to Huckle, who bought the giant for Armstrong’s Fishmongers in Edinburgh. The price? £1,000 – or $1,379 in USD.
To put the catch into perspective, the largest previous halibut Huckle has bought was a 229-pound (104 kg) harvest. That fish came to Armstrong’s in 2017 a full 60-pounds lighter.
Huckle tells SWNS that the fish isn’t suitable for fillets due to its “big middle bone.” As a result, the halibut will be portioned into “big halibut loins.”
“We are in the process of cutting it up now but I think we will get 75 kg (165 pounds) out of that, you do get a bit of weight loss with halibut,” Huckle clarifies. “It’s absolutely massive.”
Yet even bigger monsters lurk in the deep. SWNS cites the largest halibut ever caught off the Scottish coast at more than 295-pounds. It was caught in the summer of 2020.
Genus Hippoglossus, Reinhardtius
There are three species of the fish under two fitting genus names. The name halibut, however, is simply a common name for these three species. They are:
- Atlantic halibut, Hippoglossus hippoglossus, which live in the North Atlantic
- Pacific halibut, Hippoglossus stenolepis, which lives in the North Pacific Ocean
- Greenland halibut, Reinhardtius hippoglossoides, which inhabits cold northern Atlantic, northern Pacific, and Arctic Oceans and falls under the genus Reinhardtius.
According to Index Journal, the biggest halibut ever caught is said to be a whopping 515-pounder caught near Norway circa 2013.
The International Game Fishing Association, however, holds the record for Pacific halibut at 459 pounds. That giant would come on record in Alaska in 1996.