Atlantic halibut imports from Canada surge; reports

Atlantic halibut imports to the US neared 13 million pounds in 2023 at a cost of over $103 million.

by | March 5, 2024

Filed Under Halibut | Markets | Trade | Trends

Canadians fish for halibut year round,; imports to US have increased steadily since 2008

Atlantic Canada halibut fishery Credit: ResearchGate

By Joshua Bickert/Urner Barry
March 5, 2024

Over the past decade, the Atlantic halibut market, especially concerning imports into the United States, has undergone a significant and consistent upward trajectory.

From 2008 onward, there has been an annual increase in imports, with only a marginal 3% exception noted in 2022. In 2008, imports stood at 2.87 million pounds, while by 2023, they had surged to an impressive 12.27 million pounds, marking a substantial increase of 326% and a 10.7% increase from the previous year.

Some market participants speak to recent studies suggesting that warming water temperatures are beneficial to Atlantic Halibut and have led to higher landings and subsequent imports into the U.S.

One intriguing facet of the market lies in the sporadic nature of pricing, influenced by variables such as weather conditions and the week-to-week variability in landings. At present, the average price per pound hovers around $11.75.

Imports/values of halibut from Eastern Canada and British Columbia, 2023 (NOAA Fisheries)

US purchases from Atlantic Canada topped $107 million; From British Columbia, over $39 million

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About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.


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