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Halibut PNG Transparent Images

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License Info: Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC


Submitted by on Sep 11, 2021

Halibut is the common name for three flatfish species from the Hippoglossus and Reinhardtius genera of the right-eye flounder family, as well as, in some areas, and less often, other big flatfish species.

Because of its prominence on Catholic holy days, the name is derived from haly (holy) and butte (flat fish). Halibut are demersal fish that are popular as both a food fish and a sport fish.

The Atlantic halibut is the biggest flatfish in the world. A 234-kilogram (515-pound), 2.62-metre (8-foot-7-inch) fish reportedly broke the IGFA record off the coast of Norway in July 2013. As of 2013, this was still seeking certification. A 219-kilogram (482-pound) Pacific halibut was taken in Glacier Bay, Alaska, in July 2014; however, the halibut was shot and harpooned before being carried aboard, thus the catch was not recorded.

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Halibut are dark brown on top with an off-white underside and have very minute scales buried in their skin that are undetectable to the human eye. Halibut have one eye on each side of the head when they are born. Then, about six months later, one eye migrates to the other side of the skull during larval metamorphosis. Once the skull has entirely ossified, the eyes are permanently fixed. The stationary-eyed side darkens to match the top side at the same time, while the other side remains white. Countershading is a colour scheme that hides halibut from above (blending with the ocean floor) and below (blending with the light from the sky).

The commercial halibut fishing in the North Pacific began in the late 1800s and is now one of the region’s largest and most profitable. Long-line fishing, which uses chunks of octopus (“devilfish”) or other bait on circle hooks tied at regular intervals to a weighted line that can reach for several miles over the bottom, is popular in Canadian and US waters. After many hours to a day, the fishing vessel recovers the line. Long-line gear has unknown consequences on ecosystems, although they might include sediment disturbance, benthic structures, and other structures.

Because the species is found in the seas of the United StatesCanadaRussia, and perhaps Japan (where the species is known as ohyo), international management is believed to be essential. Because halibut can not reproduce until they are eight years old, when they are around 80 cm (30 in) long, commercial capture below this length hinders breeding and violates US and Canadian sustainability rules. The International Pacific Halibut Commission oversees halibut fishing in the Pacific.

The halibut fishery was a derby for most of the contemporary era. Regulators set time periods for fishing (usually 24″48 hours at a time), and anglers competed to capture as many pounds as they could in that time frame. This method allowed for unrestricted participation in the fisheries while also allowing authorities to limit the amount of fish taken each year by limiting the number and timing of openings. Because openings had to be made before the weather forecast was available, fisherman were forced to leave port regardless of the weather. The strategy limited the availability of fresh halibut to a few weeks each year, when gluts would lower the price paid to fisherman.

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