The Global Sablefish and Halibut market is estimated to grow steadily during the forecast period.
A halibut is a group of three species of large flatfish in the right-eye flounder family including the Pacific, Atlantic, and Greenland halibut living and feeding on the bottom of the seabed. These can be found in the North Pacific, North Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans. As reported by Marine Stewardship Council the Atlantic halibut is one of the world’s largest flatfish, reaching up to 4.6 meters in length. The largest Atlantic halibut ever recorded was from Cape Ann, Massachusetts, and weighed around 280 kilograms.
Sablefish, commonly known as black cod, live on the ocean floor and have been found at depths of more than a mile below the surface. The skin of a sablefish is charcoal gray and is found only in the Northern Pacific from northern Mexico to the Gulf of Alaska, westward to the Aleutian Islands, and into the Bering Sea. Although, they are most commonly found in Alaska waters.
Increase in commercial landings of sablefish and halibut
The demand for both sablefish and halibut has been increasing rapidly. As per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department Of Commerce, In 2018, commercial landings of Pacific halibut totaled more than 21.4 million pounds and were valued at more than $86.7 million as it is one of the most valuable commercial and recreational fishery resources in the North Pacific Ocean. Approximately 95 percent of this harvest was landed in Alaska. And, In 2019, commercial landings of sablefish totaled more than 40.8 million pounds and were valued at more than $89 million, according to the NOAA Fisheries commercial fishing landings database. This rising demand is mainly attributed to the nutritional benefits of the fishes and the sustainable harvesting techniques.
Halibut is an excellent source of selenium, a trace mineral with many health benefits since it is a powerful antioxidant that helps the human body repair damaged cells and reduce inflammation. It also plays an important role in thyroid health. Additionally, halibut is a good source of a variety of other micronutrients like niacin, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6 that contribute to good health. Halibut is also a high-quality source of protein that can contribute to total protein needs for building and repairing muscle or suppressing appetite. Sablefish are rich in nutrients like selenium, vitamin b-12, isoleucine, lysine, tryptophan, threonine, valine, histidine, and leucine which are good for health as it helps in maintaining cells, strengthening immunity, enhancing metabolism, better bone and brain health and more. These nutritional benefits by the fishes are the driver for increasing demand in the market.
Changing food habits of people to increase market demand
The growth of the sablefish and halibut market can be credited to changes in the food ingestion patterns of people across the globe. Also, the ready availability of the fishes over sophisticated supply chains and the development of retail network makes it convenient for consumers to purchase packaged fish products. Moreover, growing admiration of various universal cuisines has further propelled the growth of the market.
Sustainable harvesting property to propel market growth
There has been an increasing focus on the sustainable harvesting of fishes across the globe. In August 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs released the Revised Draft of Fishery Law for public comment, a revision of the Fishery Law promulgated in 2013. Compared to the original law, the revised draft places greater emphasis on environmental protection in the aquaculture sector, as well as disease prevention and control, and the use of inputs. Sablefish and halibut both can be harvested sustainably, hence, there is an inclining interest of the harvested or catchers towards sablefish and halibut.
Price fluctuations and changing government regulations to retrain market growth
The variations in prices and conventions of sablefish and halibut are the main challenges hindering the market growth. Moreover, the investment fluctuation and changing government regulations as they limit the amount of incidentally caught and discarded fish further restrain the growth of the market. NOAA Fisheries and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council manage the sablefish fishery in Alaska and individual fishing quotas are introduced.
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic had a multifold impact on the sablefish and halibut market. On one hand, the consumer demand increased owing to the health benefits of these fishes. But, on the other hand, the supply chain disruptions restrained the trade due to the lockdown impose to curb the spread of the virus in various countries. The government regulations imposed led to the shutdown of various restaurants and food joints. Hence, the demand from these food joints decreased significantly.
North America is expected to dominate the sablefish and halibut market owing to the inclining imports of fish, expanding customer spending on different fish dishes like halibut fish, high per capita consumption, vigorous dispersion of organized retail alongside the foodservice industry. The growing demand in the region is resulting in mounting prices with the rising volume of harvest due to the increase in total allowable catch since the year 2018 in the Alaskan region of North America. Moreover, North America is one of the major importers & distributors of seafood by value. Furthermore, owing to significant demand for fishes across the North American countries, apart from key market players, even dealers and suppliers have started introducing their own seafood brands as part of strategic growth.