Canada’s commercial harvesters and their families have been fishing wild Pacific halibut since the 1880s.

Today, there are fourth and fifth generation commercial fishing families participating in the fishery providing food to Canada and the world. 

The fishery is comprised mainly of small, family-owned businesses. First Nations are also a significant part of the fishery accounting for approximately 26% of the commercial halibut fishing licences. More details about Canadian halibut licences are available on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans website. 

In Canada, the management of the wild Pacific halibut fishery requires full accountability of all fish caught - halibut and non-halibut species regardless of whether the fish is retained or released - and features a world class catch monitoring system. 


Harvest Process


Commercial wild Pacific halibut fishing takes place annually between mid-March and mid-November.  The exact season dates are determined each year at the International Pacific Halibut Commission Annual Meeting held in late January. learn more →

Harvest Gear


Wild Pacific halibut is harvested by Canada’s commercial fishermen with the greatest pride and skill to ensure that they are providing top quality food for Canadians as well as seafood consumers around the world. learn more →

Harvest Areas


Wild Pacific halibut are found on the continental shelf on Canada’s Pacific coast.  More than 90% of Canada’s commercial harvest of wild Pacific halibut is caught between the northern tip of Vancouver Island and the Alaskan border. learn more →



In Canada, wild Pacific halibut that is commercially harvested can only be landed at designated landing ports. Most Canadian wild Pacific halibut is landed in Port Hardy and Prince Rupert/Port Edward.  Processing takes place either in these communities or Nanaimo, French Creek, Haida Gwaii and Vancouver. learn more →