When the halibut fishing season is closed, Wade Bassi is still busy with his hook-and-line fishing boat, Polaris, at Fisherman's Terminal in Seattle.

Fish Sticks, Exports Concede: Halibut Fishing to Continue in Bering Sea

Halibut fishing will forge ahead in the Bering Sea this year, despite warnings of a closure that could have choked off much of the year-round supply of the fish to consumers and restaurants and put hundreds of fishermen out of work. The Bering Sea accounts for one-sixth of the halibut caught in the United States. The catch includes most of the frozen supply that sustains restaurants, food-service companies and retail stores nationwide, such as Costco and Whole Foods. The crisis affecting the fish stems from a clash between hook-and-line fishers, who reel in the popular halibut, and two classes of trawl boats whose nets inadvertently kill the fish. Sixteen Bering Sea trawlers – controlled by five Washington-based companies that scoop up mostly exported sole, flounder and cod in nets – inadvertently kill halibut.