It is safe to eat halibut under 100 kilos, but if they are bigger, they are polluted with so many unwanted substances that it is inadvisable to eat the fish.
‘The studies show that the content of the environmental pollutants increases with the size of the fish. Fish measuring less than two meters, or weighing approximately 100 kilograms, showed mostly good results when tested for heavy metals, and organic pollutants.
They are therefore safe to eat, said senior consultant, Harald Nordås of Mattilsynet (Norway’s ‘Food Safety’ Authority).
The National Institute for Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES) investigated Atlantic halibut from the entire distribution area in Skagerrak to the Barents Sea on behalf of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.
Most of the fish had been caught in the sea area from Nord-Trøndelag and along the coast to Nordkapp, where most fish caught are halibut.
Mostly fished and eaten are halibut between 11 and 40 kilograms. If the fish are over 100 kilograms, they should be released back to the sea. The fish can live to be up to 60 years old and weigh 200 kilograms.
‘Several studies show that large, old halibut have high levels of dioxins and PCBs. In a long life, there is time to collect significant amounts of pollutants through what they eat’, said Nordås.
The survey shows that fish below 40 kilograms from an area at Sklinnabanken in the Norwegian Sea had a ‘partly problematic’ level of organic pollutants. Therefore, the report recommended that these halibut should also not be eaten.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today