1. Introduction

Halibut is a highly sought-after species of flatfish in specific markets, particularly in the UK and Norway, due to its firm, white flesh. The Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) is the largest species of flatfish and can reach lengths of up to 470 cm and weights of up to 279 kg. Most farmed halibut is produced in Norway, the UK, and Iceland, with the typical market size ranging between 2-10 kg (averaging around 5kg).

2. Strengths/Weaknesses/opportunities/Threats


  • The technology for producing this fish species is well established and few species have been studied as thoroughly for aquaculture purposes.


  • Compared to other flatfish species, this species will naturally form layers in tanks when shelves are provided, which allows for efficient utilization of the tank volume. At Aqua-Partners ApS, we have experience with designing and operating systems with up to three layers of fish.


  • The selling price of this fish is relatively high, but it is only in demand within a limited market, primarily in Norway and the UK.


  • When prepared by a skilled chef, this fish can be a gourmet dish, but it can be easily overcooked and thus, gastronomically ruined.




  • The Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossuscan be confused with the Greenland Halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) in markets outside of the UK, Norway, and Canada. This confusion can negatively affect the market value of the Atlantic halibut, as the Greenland Halibut is of a lower value. The names of the two species can be interchanged in different markets, contributing to the confusion. For instance, in Norway, the Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) is known both as Kveite and Hellefisk, while in Denmark, Hellefisk refers to the Greenland Halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) . In Norway, the Greenland Halibut is called Blaakveite.


  • Producing juveniles of this fish species is a complex process, but Aqua-Partners ApS has the necessary expertise and knowledge to succeed. Moreover, the production time from spawning to juvenile stages is also quite long, making the process even more challenging.


  • Optimal farming conditions for this fish species require a temperature of up to 12 degrees C, which necessitates a relatively large biofilter in a Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) facility.


  • Open-system farming methods, such as cage farming, are too time-consuming and risky to be commercially viable. Thus, farming in RAS systems is the most practical option.


  • Cooking this fish correctly is challenging even for amateur chefs.




The majority of commercial production attempts for this fish have been in cage systems, starting from the juvenile stage. Some have improved results by growing the fish to 1 kg before transferring them to sea cages. The potential opportunity with this species is to implement a comprehensive plan for the production of market-sized fish using Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) technology for the fry stage and up to harvest, in order to maintain a controlled temperature regime and reduce production time by at least 50%. However, operating a hatchery is likely to be expensive, so a minimum production volume of 1000 tons should be considered.




The market for selling this fish is largely limited to within the United Kingdom. Due to the cost structure and access requirements for the UK market, the ideal locations for a Halibut production facility are likely also limited to within the UK. If the goal is to sell the fish beyond a local market, placing the facility elsewhere may result in long-term competitiveness issues.





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