"Jello Halibut"



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  • "Jello Halibut"

    Just wondering about this "bad" fish. I was on a charter in May and some of the fish we caught had clearish meat. The captian said he was seeing more and more of them and didn't know why.

    Another person said the fish can be described as having one sunken eye and it is a streptococcus bacteria and not to eat them.

    I have not seen any issued warning about this though. Anyone know about this?
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  • #2

    I have experienced this too - more this year than before...its not clearish meat, but its Like Opague White and not firm, your right about the jello and the fish does look sick, i had one with a bulging eye, not sunken.....the fish wasnt fat either for its size, in fact...it was some of the skinniest filets i have seen...light brown skin color too

    anyone know anything about this? most of the fish have come from the Compass Rose Area....


    • #3
      Also wondering about the "jello halibut"

      I have never noticed any outward signs of illness in a halibut but after filleting them some really have that jellied appearance. I think it is only found on the white side. My wife noticed that it does not even cook the same way. I 'd be interested in any more info on this condition?

      -Good fish'in


      • #4
        You sure it's not "chalky" halibut? There's a bit of info here plus a precaution about mixing up halibut with arrowtooth flounder. The latter doesn't seem to fit your description, but chalky halibut is well documented and recognizable in the commercial fleet.
        "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
        Merle Haggard


        • #5
          I've been commercial fishing halibut for a lot of years, and just over the past 5 or so we have noticed an increase in chalky halibut, where their meat has a whiter, less clear appearance than usual. We get paid less per pound for them, as the meat is less firm, so that's always a bummer. We really notice that the number of them increase as the summer progresses. We don't catch any in May, maybe a few in June, but by mid-July a full 10% or more of our catch will be chalky. No health concern at all, and they still taste good, just not as firm.



          • #6
            The ones I've got

            Were Chalky in Appearance and like Jello in Texture...and it was BOTH sides of the fish, not just the white, and they did not look even remotely healthy when compared to other halibut...and they were definately halibut, not the arrowtooth. We all commented on the sick look of the fish....needless to say - we didnt eat it. However - all of the ones came from the Compass Rose Area...we dont normally fish there

            Our first thought was that it was lactic acid build up or something as they were caught on some of the bigger tides....but we've been getting 1 or 2 of them every time out. One of them was visibly sick, bulging eye, overall health of fish looked bad - Light Tan on the brown side and thin...he hardly even fought at all. Felt like we did him a favor. I didnt think much of it until i read that post, there are bound to be some sick ones in the bunch...interesting stuff for sure


            • #7
              stravation fish

              The jello texture is due to a fish that is starving. Some fish were sent to ADF&G pathology lab the past couple of years and the conclusion was that these fish were using their own protein to survive.


              • #8
                Starving Fish

                I have heard the same thing that the fish were starving. I was also told that it was normally caused by some type of injury that inhibits their ability to feed. But they are still good to eat, just a bit different texture.


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