Magnus Skretting and his team at Sterling White Halibut Tm are one of few pioneering companies to embark on the long term and risky process of farming Atlantic Halibut.
Atlantic halibut is endangered in the wild on both sides of the Atlantic due to their very slow growth and depletion from previous overfishing and now at risk from trawler bycatch. There is clearly a strong conservation reason as well as a commercial one to try to develop farming methods for these creatures.
Using the very best modern methods which avoid the problems encountered by salmon farming, the process is sustainable. Research scientists and fish biologists together with the fish farmers have succeeded over the last 10 years to overcome many of the obstacles to breeding, rearing and developing sustainable feed sources.
The halibut are raised from eggs to adults over 5 years by Sterling White Halibut in the clear, clean waters of Ryfylke Fjord, Norway. A perfect place to raise halibut. The fjord is 200 meters deep, with just the right current to keep the fish active, and the pens go down to 70 meters to the deep and the dark – just how halibut love it -they suffer from sunburn in shallow water. Of course, as flat fish they need to lie on the bottom between meals so Magnus and his team train them as juveniles to lie on a system of suspended shelving.
Naturally the penthouse will be on the bottom…
They are mostly females (the males don’t grow beyond 3kg) and much loved by the team who monitor them closely at all stages on CCTV. It takes 5 years to grow them to 4-5 kgs in weight compared to beef cattle who must be killed at 2 years old so it is a very long, expensive and capital intensive process, but one which yields magnificent high quality fish.
Fundamentally Fish supplies fresh Sterling White Halibut directly to chefs – no wholesalers.
If you want to know, more their website is www.sterlingwhitehalibut.com