Greenland Halibut/Turbot | Oceana Canada

Canadian Marine Life Encyclopedia

Greenland Halibut/Turbot

Reinhardtius hippoglossoides

Also known as

Newfoundland turbot, flatty, turbot, blue halibut, black halibut


Circumpolar. In the northeast Pacific from Alaska to Mexico, and in the northwest Atlantic


Soft bottoms in arctic and temperate waters

Feeding Habits

Active predator

Conservation Status

Not listed


Order Pleuronectiformes (flatfishes); Family Pleuronectidae (right-eye flounders)


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Greenland halibut are a large flatfish that have both eyes on the right side of their head. Their close relatives, the Atlantic halibut and Pacific halibut, use this design to swim flat against the ocean floor, as do Greenland halibut. However, Greenland halibut are also known to swim vertically, thanks to their eyes being closer to the front of their head than their relatives, allowing them to look forward while swimming upright. Greenland halibut use this ability to swim vertically to help them migrate and forage for food. 

Greenland halibut in Canadian waters have not yet been assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).  Under the Precautionary Approach Framework by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Greenland halibut population in the Gulf of St. Lawrence has been assessed as Healthy. The populations found along the northeast coast of Nunavut, Newfoundland and Labrador, which are assessed and managed by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), have been assessed as Unknown.

Oceana Canada is working to protect Canada’s oceans for species like the Greenland halibut. Find out more about our campaigns and join us in helping to bring abundance back to the ocean.