Governor Makes Nominations to Fishery Council
Governor Parnel Appoints Morisky to Board of Fisheries!
Reed Morisky, of Fairbanks, is the owner and operator of Wilderness Fishing, a sport fishing guide service based in Fairbanks and Nenana.
January 25, 20132 halibut limit for 2013 for area 3A. Homer, Anchor point, Ninilchick, Seward, Area 2C keeps slot limit for 2013!
January 25, 2013
International Pacific Halibut Commission Maintains Status Quo Regulations for 2013
The International Pacific Halibut Commission met in Victoria, British Columbia this week and in a decision this morning to take no action on guided angler regulations in Alaska, in effect adopted the North Pacific Fishery Management Council's recommendation to not change guided angler regulations for 2013.
This means a one fish per day, reverse slot limit of U45O68 (retention of a halibut equal to or less than 45" or equal to or greater than 68") for Area 2C (Southeast) and a two fish per day of any size for Area 3A (Southcentral).
2013 Catch Limits
Halibut Fishing Political Front:
|Area||2012||Blue Line||Conference Board|
Reducing the fleet and the bag limit
Last year the Halibut Charter fleet was reduced by 30 - 40% through a federal permitting process. Now, even with this reduced number of charter boats, the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council is trying to reduce the bag limit as well.
What is the Catch Sharing Plan (CSP)
The Catch Sharing Plan has been passed by the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council and is headed to the Secretary of Commerce to be signed. If signed, it will reduce the allocation to guided sports fisherman by 30%. Our allowable harvest (Guideline Harvest Level-GHL) in 3A (Cook Inlet and Gulf of Alaska) right now is 2.373 million pounds. This will be cut by up to 700,000 lbs. In area 2C the cuts are just as drastic.
December 3, 2012
Facing Halibut Armageddon in 2012, fisheries managers consider slashing quotas. Craig Medred story
October 7th, 2012
Guided Anglers suffer the Pain of Trawl By-Catch and Severe Allocation Cuts
(Anchorage) The North Pacific Fisheries Management Council deliberated yesterday and passed in a vote of 10-1, final action on a Catch Sharing Plan (CSP) that would have guided recreational halibut anglers sharing Catch Limits with the halibut commercial longline fishery, previously a domain exclusive to the commercial fishery. Prior to this proposed action, guided anglers shared the priority with their brethren the unguided sport sector and subsistence users as their public trust allocations were deducted from the exploitable biomass prior to setting permitted commercial catch limits. Under this proposed plan, guided recreational anglers will now suffer the pain that the halibut longline fishery has suffered for years, trawl by-catch. This by-catch will be deducted from the exploitable biomass prior to splitting the allocation between the guided recreational angler and commercial sectors. This will set a profoundly damaging precedence on how the federal government will treat all recreational anglers in the future.
Also included in this action is a means for guided anglers to rent additional allocation to allow for an additional fish, if and when a daily bag limit falls below two fish a day. This will be a temporary allocation and will have to be paid for again as long as allocations don't allow a two fish bag limit. The cost for this will vary in different areas, but may be as much as $100 per fish.
In the allocative actions taken by the North Council, if the CSP were in effect in 2012, Southcentral Alaska would have received a 24.2% reduction in allocation compared to the current GHL (guideline harvest level) and a 35.6% reduction in Southeast Alaska. The justification for this reallocation came from longline fishermen who said it was time for the guided sector to "share the pain". If this catch sharing plan is adopted, the commercial longline sector would have achieved its goal of turning recreational anglers into commercial fishermen. This final action now goes to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for proposed rule making.
June 7th, 2012
North Council hears about Bycatch.
Hundreds of written comments and a vast majority of public testimony all support a minimum of 15% reduction in the halibut bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska. What will the NORTH PACIFIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL do? Help save the halibut resource or help the rich get richer!
September 29th 2011
NOAA urges delay in implementation of halibut catch-sharing plan!
April 2, 2011 NPFMC Constrains Trawler PSC of King Salmon!
The NPFMC set a PSC hard cap of 22,500 king salmon for the Gulf of Alaska pollock fleet today as their preferred alternative for analysis in a stunning move toward enlightened and responsible resource management. There is plenty of credit to pass around, to all the groups and individuals who pushed for this new day in the management of the Gulf of Alaska. Final action is scheduled in June, so do not take off the gloves yet.
Here?s a draft of the plan:Catch Sharing
What that means to you, the Guided Sport fisherman:
Right now, you are allowed 2 fish per person per day of any size. If passed, right now, the limit would drop to 1 fish per person per day and could ultimately drop to 1 fish under 37 inches per person per day. The other option would be to lease the fish from commercial boats at around $3 or $4 per pound, a cost that would be passed on to you. Under the CSP, the commercial fishermen get to sit on the beach while you catch their fish and pay them for the privilege.
Why? Good question. It?s not a conservation issue because the halibut not caught by you will be reallocated to increase the numbers caught by the commercial halibut fleet.
The private (non-guided, non-commercial) sportsman will be the next to be restricted. They will be receiving tags for fish caught to track numbers of fish. This is the first step towards their allocation.
What About the Bycatch (the non-targeted fish caught commercially and dump over the side of their boats)? What a Waste!
The Ground fish Trawl fleet drag a great big weighted net on the ocean floor or mid-water and scrape up everything, then pick out the one species of fish they want and throw the rest over the side. The total halibut bycatch for 2010 was 11,433,055 million pounds of dead fish (mostly by the trawl fisheries). The average fish caught is 5-7 lbs. so that means almost 2 million fish were wasted. They are not only dumping your halibut over the side but hundreds of other species of sea life including 44,355 king salmon just in the Gulf of Alaska alone. The real problem is that observer coverage of the by-catch is very limited. Most of the boats that take the largest share of the catch in the Gulf of Alaska have 0% or 30% observer coverage. This means we have no idea how much is thrown over the side. So these numbers are far from accurate. If you?d like to see a 4 minute video of Halibut bycatch check out:
January 31, 2011
The Commission is recommending to the governments of Canada and the United States catch limits for 2011 totaling 41,070,000 pounds, an 18.9% decrease from the 2010 catch limit of 50,670,000 pounds. Area 2C, The Commission recommends continuation of a one-fish daily bag limit with an additional restriction that the retained fish must be no larger than 37 inches (total length) and a requirement to retain the frame until landing, if halibut are legally filleted at sea.
Halibut Bycatch Project Team!!
The Commission and its advisory boards discussed halibut bycatch management and received a report from its Halibut Bycatch Work Group. The Commission remains concerned about the yield lost to the halibut fishery as a result of bycatch mortality in other fisheries. Accordingly, the Commission established a Halibut Bycatch Project Team, led by a Commissioner from each country, to gain better understanding of the amounts and potential impacts of halibut bycatch mortality in other fisheries. Further, this Team will explore whether options for reducing this bycatch mortality can be implemented and whether mitigating the impacts of bycatch mortality in one area on the available harvest in other areas is possible.