Petersburg Pilot -

Fish Factor

Researchers investigating why halibut are much smaller now

 


Fish stomachs could help solve the mystery of why Alaska halibut are so small for their age.

Halibut weights are about one-third of what they were 30 years ago, meaning a halibut weighing 120 pounds in the late 1980s is closer to 40 pounds nowadays.

One culprit could be arrowtooth flounders, whose numbers have increased 500 percent over the same time to outnumber the most abundant species in the Gulf: pollock. Fishermen for decades have claimed the toothy flounders, which grow to about three feet in length, are blanketing the bottom of the Gulf and many believe they are out-competing halibu...



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