West Coast
via CBS News 8

CA - 500 California Halibut Released Into Mission Bay as Part of Replenishment Program

SeaWorld Research Institute and Dick Laub Fisheries Replenishment program are working to get the California halibut back into the wild.

SAN DIEGO — The Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute released over 500 adolescent California Halibut in San Diego's Mission Bay as part of the Dick Laub Fisheries Replenishment program committed to getting the California Halibut back into the wild.

Mark Drawbridge is a senior research scientist at Hubbs and he and his team have raised the California Halibut from eggs.

"The fish come first, so we're going to get the fish in the water," Mark said. "We've got just over 20 California Halibut in the bag. They're 13 months old and 7-inches on average."

Over 500 will be released, and while the population is doing well north of Pt. Conception, it is not the same story in the south. You might think that overfishing would be the main cause but it's another manmade problem.

"Stock enhancement, stock replenishment is one option that we can look at to bring those populations back," Mark said. "In California, we don't have nearly the nursery habitat we had 100 years ago. So what we can do here is by growing the fish to a larger size it mitigates that loss of habitat."

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