If you’re someone who watches a lot of cooking shows or content, you know that the halibut has always been one fish that has scared cooks and dining patrons alike. Cooks are scared of it because of how hard it is to cook and customers are scared away by the halibut because of how expensive it is! Yes, the halibut is one costly fish! But why is halibut so expensive? Weirdly enough, there are a few luxury restaurants that don’t serve halibut- that’s because the fish is too expensive for them too! Now if it’s that expensive of a fish, there have to be reasons- which you’ll read about further down in the article.

But what’s more to know about the fish though?


The Halibut

The halibut is a premier choice of fish which is very high in nutrition and tastes excellent. It is a large type of flatfish which is primarily bred in the seas of the Pacific and the Atlantic. It is known to be too expensive because of how there is a difficulty in repleting the supply of the fish. There’s also the fact that the production of the halibut itself is very labor-intensive and involves a lot of hard work. There are high shipping costs to consider too.

So now that you know that the halibut is very expensive, you’re probably backing out from wanting to buy it. But if you’re still in the mood for some good fish, here are some alternatives.

Halibut- Alternative Choices

The halibut is known for its mild and sweet taste and the beautiful white flesh that is flaky on the outside and soft on the inside. Now there are a few fishes that work perfectly well as the halibut, with similar kinds of textures and features. Now if you’re dying to know, here is the list!

  • Tilapia: Tilapia is a Native African fish that is mostly derived from fish farms in China. This contributes to its cheaper price. It grows very fast and it also eats a very cheap diet.
  • Cod: Cod is a popular fish found in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. It contains many nutrients, like vitamins B12 and B6, as well as niacin, phosphorus, and selenium. Cod also contains 19 grams of protein. It should be noted that because cod is a low-fat fish, it is not a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. White cod has the advantage of being low in mercury; however, it is critical to fully cook fresh cod or buy previously frozen cod to avoid parasites.
  • Flounder: Flounder is yet another popular, low-cost fish. Because the features and nutritious qualities are so similar, it is sometimes confused with the fish ‘sole.’ It contains vitamins B12 and B6, as well as magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium. It contains 21 g of protein.
  • Haddock: Because of the similarities in flavor and quality, it is sometimes regarded as scrod and is commonly swapped for cod in recipes. Haddock includes 30 grams of protein and is high in potassium and selenium. It also has a low mercury content. Because haddock is a low-fat fish, it is not a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Now you’ve got a list of alternatives to the halibut fish. But why do you need a list of alternatives anyway? Oh, that’s right- the halibut is expensive. Why is it so? 

Oh, Fish! That’s Expensive!

Halibut is a costly fish for many reasons that are discussed below.

Due to its high demand:-

Although fish is a common protein source for coastal communities, as new generations seek healthier, more environmentally friendly protein sources, they turn to fish such as halibut. It is well-known for having a very mild flavor that complements strong flavors. The demand for halibut continues to fund both the replenishment of the Atlantic halibut population and the farming of Pacific halibut. Because the majority of wild halibut comes from Alaska, halibut is especially popular in North America (Canada and the United States). As a result, unless you live close to where halibut is farmed or fished, you will almost certainly have to pay exorbitant shipping costs.

Shipping Costs:

 If you are ordering a large quantity of halibut, it is best to ship it yourself. If you order at least 10 pounds, you can save up to 75% off the unit price. Online retailers typically sell 25 to 35-pound halibut, implying that they would prefer you buy as much of the fish as possible to avoid waste. The average halibut fish weighs 25-50 pounds, with a yield rate of 50-75 percent. This means that a single halibut can typically produce anywhere from 12-35 lbs. of meat, or more than 35 servings.

Difficult Production Procedures

While Atlantic halibut is typically preferred due to its stronger flavor and fattier flesh, high demand and unsustainable management have caused it to become endangered; as a result, commercial fishing for Atlantic halibut is prohibited in US waters. As a result, farmed Pacific halibut is the most commonly consumed commercially because it is the more sustainable option. However, this contributes to the high price of halibut—farming halibut is difficult because the cold-water fish grows slowly, requires a special diet, and has specific temperature and sun-exposure requirements. In conclusion, farming Pacific halibut is a time-consuming and costly process, and commercially consuming Atlantic halibut is unsustainable.

It’s a  healthy choice

Part of the reason halibut is in demand is that healthier protein options are becoming more popular. Halibut is a strong contender when it comes to healthy fish. Because this increases demand for the fish, it helps to drive up the price to absurdly high levels!


While halibut is a nutritionally balanced choice, there are plenty of other options for folks who love fish but don’t want to blow the budget. Some consider the Atlantic to be tastier, but it is in danger of going extinct. Halibut is expensive because wild halibut is untenable and necessitates shipments, and farmed halibut is employment-intensive and expensive. If you’re going to be eating halibut, harvested halibut is the most sustainable solution. Ultimately, except if you live close enough to a fish market to buy fresh halibut, you’re better off acquiring a less economical route. Many other white-flesh fish can start competing with halibut in terms of flavor, texture, and nutrition at a much lower cost. 


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