Managing the Resource: Who


Wild Pacific halibut is a migratory fish species that transcends borders and is jointly managed by Canada and the US.

An IPHC port sampler interviews a wild Pacific halibut vessel master following a fishing trip.


Wild Pacific halibut is a migratory fish species that transcends the Canadian and US border. 

Therefore, since 1923 the wild Pacific Halibut resource has been jointly managed under an international convention between Canada and the USA, through what is now called the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC).

Each year IPHC staff undertake scientific projects and research on wild Pacific halibut biology, including: standardized setline fishing surveys from northern California to the end of the Aleutian Islands; biological sampling in major fishing ports; stock assessments; biomass estimates; and, harvest advice. The IPHC Annual Meeting held every January reviews and approves research plans, biomass estimates, harvest advice, catch limits and regulatory proposals.

Following the IPHC Annual Meeting, each country then manages the halibut fisheries within their waters to the approved catch limits and according to IPHC and domestic regulations. In Canada, the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is responsible for the management of the wild Pacific halibut fishery. More information about DFO and the domestic management of Canada’s wild Pacific halibut fisheries can be found on the DFO Pacific Region Groundfish Management website.

Canadian wild Pacific halibut harvesters participate fully in the IPHC process at all levels, including participation in the Annual and Interim Meetings and various IPHC stakeholder advisory bodies, as well as serving as one of the Canadian Commissioners. More information on the IPHC, its processes and the scientific work it undertakes is available on the International Pacific Halibut Commission website.