It's easy to attack managment with hindsight, spinning a news article using speculation, accusation, and conspiricy theories. That's all I see going on here...typical anti-commercial fishing mantra. I doubt most have even read the stock assessment.
You haven't said anything that justifies your statement above. How can you possibly say that the model wasn't wrong? Do you understand the principle of maximum sustained yield?
Nerka (or anyone else) can you say any more about the models used? Has a cumulative shift in biomass from halibut to other non-targeted species been evaluated?
let's see, slide 3 on the 2011 halibut assessment, total halibut removal per year, all areas.
2004: 100 Million lbs.
2005: 99 M lbs.
2006: 95 M lbs.
2007: 90 M lbs.
2008: 84 M lbs.
2009: 76 M lbs.
2010: 73 M lbs.
2011: 60 M lbs.
hey, so, does anybody see any trends above??? someone help grampy out.
I mean, we're only talking about 8 straight years w/ an increased decline every year but one. hmmmm.
It's definitely worthwhile looking at the graphs for yourself and seeing just what color they look, on the whole. Then you can scratch your head and wonder who might have been pressuring the managers to not be cautious.
They stopped fishing cod in the N Atlantic when the grand banks crashed too.
5 million pounds in 3A when the average has been over 30 million for the last decade?!?!?!?!
talk about tragedy of the commons....
Time to pull our heads out of the sand, stop denying anything is wrong, figure out what the problem is and take some serious steps to fix it.
He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
andweav, that shows more facts then anything! It was those pesky charters that made thing all happen, not! It has been all about the money! Look like we are headed back to when COD was king!
andweave, while you point out a trend and muster emotion, you don't appear to understand what that trend means.
The stock decline reflects a lower recruitment from the 1989-1997 year classes and smaller size at age halibut. Recruitment from more recent year classes is stronger, but halibut size at age continues to be much lower than that seen in the recent period of history high biomass (1997-1998). So these year classes are recruiting to the exploitable biomass more slowly than past year classes. The declining trend of halibut removals you posted reflects the declining stock. Halibut stocks do not necessarily stay consistent, nor do they predictably increase or decrease.
In hindsight and retrospect, management has learned, and continues to learn about the fishery. They are constantly adjusting and refining their methods. That is good. They are not perfect. But to say precautionary principles have not even distally been adhered to, is a presumptuous accusation lacking support by facts. There seems to be more halibut than ever (in numbers), while size-age-recruitment are throwing managers a curve ball.
iofthetaiga, I don't see anyone here denying something is wrong. Estimates have uncertainty, and without a crystal ball, retrospect and hindsight will always rear their heads when things don't go perfectly. The fact I will not jump to conclusions and agree with the OP's conjecture that Biologists gave managers flawed data, does not mean my head is in the sand. My head is up, waiting for anyone here to explain their presumptions and accusations with something factual. I mean, it's odd that biologists can't explain the over-estimates, but everyone here can. And managers appear to be making the hard cuts necessary to sustain the stock.
Charter restrictions have virtually nothing to do with the stock decline. As evidenced by warnings in the Federal Register dating back to the early 1990's, charter restrictions were coming down the pipe long before any stock decline. Charter restrictions are simply the result of charters exceeding their harvest limits, outgrowing the fishery, taking allocation from other users, rejecting regulatory and management control, and basically imploding upon itself. Restrictions were coming regardless of stock decline. It's all in the Federal Register.
MGH55, before you argue further about this, would you please reference the exact reasons for the charter restrictions so we can all see them. They are in the Federal Register. That will help separate the two issues of charter restrictions and stock decline, and any misrepresentation trying to associate them.
Grampyfishes, I know it was not the charters fault and so does anyone with half a brain! It is more about mismanagement of the stock for years! It's been about money all the time. Now with this reveletion of the stock decline that is in part to over fishing and 80 percent of that was by comms and allowed by managers. Managers can sum it up with "Oopsey daisy" But longliner and charter should look on the bright side they might get federal disaster relief!
I don't think one year of data retrospection is going to mean much. The IPHC has been changing the way the look at the halibut biomass regularly the last few years. There are more halibut in the ocean than every before, they are too small and not growing fast enough.
As much as it is fun to compare the halibut to the crash of the Atlantic cod stocks, it is a completely different scenerio here and the halibut stocks have not crashed, not even close. It is time to make some serious reductions for a while and let them build back up.
This is a perfect time to take some actions and reduce the harvest all the way around before it is too late.
I'm not sure where this stat came from, but on Rick Rydell yesterday he stated that in the 70's an 11 year old halibut was 50#, now its 20#. That indicates big changes in environment and or food chain if that is correct, and the management models have not been accounting for that slowdown in growth.
Lots of chalky halibut this year. I wonder if and or how that is related
Fast up / Slow down practice has been fought by ACA for years, it now has gotten so bad they had to admitt it was the wrong strategy for sound management.
More from ACA newsletter:
It has been busy year for 2011. In January, the IPHC (International Pacific Halibut Commission) finally suspended the Fast Down calculations, which had served to increase Commercial Catch Limits and over-harvesting of the CEY. ACA representatives have hammered the point for four years that over-harvesting the Fishery CEY (Constant Exploitable Yield) by adding the Fast Down calculation was unsustainable and damaging to the resource. Finally, the reality of decreasing abundance levels was simply too blatant for the IPHC to ignore and refute.
This summer found us embroiled in a battle for our resource in the form of the CSP (Catch Sharing Plan) that was published in the Federal Register for public comment. ACA representatives have given a great deal of testimony and written comments over the years on this subject. Unfortunately, the North Council and NMFS Alaska have not responded to the concerns and flaws that have been pointed out. The CSP was largely rubber-stamped by NMFS Alaska. When it was published for public comment, the ACA and many very hard working volunteers jumped into action. Multiple hours were spent crafting fliers, making phone calls, arranging meetings and in general mapping out a plan of defense.
Jim Martin of Fort Bragg California was engaged by the ACA to help with the effort. He brought with him long years of experience as a RFA representative and advocate of anglers rights. His experience allowed him to jump into productive action immediately. In the six weeks that he spent in Alaska, he put in many long hours at the computer, on the phone, and in meetings planning and organizing. His, efforts along with volunteer help, succeeded in getting the word out to the charter industry, related businesses and the end user of the resource, our guided angler. He traveled to radio interviews, legislative meetings, and into industry related businesses all around South Central Alaska. Informative fliers were passed out and conversations were held with fairgoers over several days at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer. His single purpose efforts paid off enormously in keeping the focus when the energy of our volunteers flagged as they tried to carry on with their day-to-day running of their businesses.
Rex Murphy was also engaged to write the testimony letter for the ACA in opposition to the CSP. It was the culmination of untold number of hours involving many revisions to fine tune the commentary. Rex made a very special point to ensure that every statement was footnoted to verify the accuracy of the statements. When NMFS changed the web links of their data just before our submission, it meant a painstaking effort to go through each one individually to update the information. The ACA testimony ran 34 pages and was designed to lay the groundwork if a lawsuit becomes necessary. The ACA letter is a credible statement of facts. This letter can be found at www.alaskacharter.org website titled Alaska Charter Association CSP Testimony.
Due to everyone's efforts, the CSP has not yet been signed into law and was instead returned to the North Council to be reworked. Many thanks to all who helped make this happen. We could not have made progress without your support.
Our board of directors worked in a collaborative effort with SEAGO (Southeast Alaska Guides Organization) to win a NFWF grant to explore the possibilities of creating a program to allow for compensated shift of the halibut resource back into the hands of the recreational anglers. This has been no small project. It has consumed large amounts of time for a few of our dedicated volunteers. From the first stage of conceptualization, through preparations of pre-grant applications, to the detailed and specific grant application, it has taken up much of our volunteer's time in bringing it to reality. ACA board member Richard Yamada is now heading up the project, known as CATCH (Catch Accountability Through Compensated Halibut) and is hard at work fulfilling the obligations of the NFWF grant.
The ACA would like to thank the many volunteers who put their shoulder to the wheel to help bring this problem to the attention of the public and our elected officials. There are too many to mention, but anybody who has even a small amount of awareness of this situation will know who you are.
This battle did not come without a cost. Many people throughout the state have opened their wallets and checkbooks and helped with the financial burden that this CSP fight has imposed on our coffers. Even with the additional financial help received this summer, the ACA has spent down their accounts. Unfortunately the fight is not over. We still have anticipated expenses of the travel costs of our volunteer board members going to the December North Council meeting and the January, 2012 IPHC meeting, both in Anchorage. And on it goes!
Please join or renew your ACA membership for 2012. If you find you can donate something extra, it will be wisely and frugally spent ensuring the sustainability of the resource and defending the right to access it. It is amazing just how much was accomplished with so little money; it is truly a David and Goliath battle. Your money and the volunteers make it happen.
For the Charters its getting some input into how you are managed, ILo having something unreasonable forced on you (like the 37" minnow rule in 2C that left half the allocation un-used this year).
Breaking News - 2C Management Measure Recommendations for 2012
New Halibut Management Measures Recommended For 2012 Fishing Season
(ANCHORAGE) - During the meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council's (NPFMC) Charter Management Implementation Committee hearing today, the representatives from Area 2C offered their recommendations for new management measures for the 2012 fishing season.
Committee members Seth Bone (Sitka), Ken Dole (Prince of Wales), Kent Huff (Gustavus), Stan Malcolm (Petersburg) and Richard Yamada (Juneau) made the following recommendations, in order of preference:
1) One day per week closure with no maximum fish size on the remaining days of the week. With regard to a recommendation on a specific day, the committee members offered that the day should be that which provides the greatest conservation effect. According to Scott Meyer's from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), Tuesdays would have the greatest effect. The general consensus of the Southeast delegation was that this option would only remain their first choice under a "one-day-a-week closure."
2) Reverse Slot Limit. Under Mr. Meyer's "best case" assumptions, 2C would be looking at a reverse slot limit of 45" and below and 64" and above. Under a more conservative model, the reverse slot limit could be 42" and below and 64" and above.
It should be noted that no committee member indicated that these were "ideal", but that they represented the best options that could be implemented for the 2012 season.
The recommendations of the Southeast Alaska committee members were based on the analysis provided by Scott Meyer while taking into account staff recommendations from the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) included in the 2012 stock assessment.
In making their recommendations, committee members wrestled with which options would have the greatest improvement for operators throughout the region.
As was noted by the committee chair, Ed Dersham, and other committee members, until the IPHC makes its final determination on harvest limits for the 2012 season, it is difficult to say with certainty which option is preferable.
More forward looking, Mr. Dersham suggested that committee members make recommendations for management measures that were better suited to the charter industry for 2013 and beyond.
Because the fate of the Catch Sharing Plan (CSP) is uncertain, Mr. Dersham encouraged forwarding multiple options that could be analyzed for future consideration. One option that has been mentioned before, that came up again today, was a hybrid annual limit option. There has been some discussion of a "trophy fish" annual limit combined with a daily "minnow" bag limit.
The Council is scheduled to take up charter halibut issues during the meeting on Saturday. If you would like to share your comments with SEAGO, email me at Heath@seagoalaska.org .
I've been mulling over this for a few days. This halibut trend isn't unique to halibut. It seems like exactly what I've seen in northern pike and bluegills. When you hammer the large fish in the population, you get a very large population of stunted fish. It becomes a sink which very few fish are able to rise out of to become large; the numbers of small fish are so high that the food source is maxed out, and cannot produce large fish very easily, if at all. With bluegills, it is usually a combination of underfishing the small gills, overfishing the large ones, and fishing out the predator species. With pike, the large pike are the main population control. Remove them, and the rest grow much much more slowly, and reach sexual maturity at a smaller size.
Is this what is happening with halibut? A huge biomass competing for the same food, the larger halibut that would help trim that population, and grow quicker with the rich feed source that their own young provide, are very few and far between now. Have we managed ourselves into a stunted population of halibut that will take years to recover, if ever?
Looks like the Halibut Charter implementation team got their 45U/68O size headed to the IPHC for Area 2C and Area 3A got status quo for 2012.
New management measures headed to IPHC for consideration for 2012 season
(ANCHORAGE) - The final action of this evening's business for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) was the motion on recommendations they would forward to the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) for 2012 management measures in Areas 2C and 3A.
Following several hours of staff reports and public testimony, Council member Ed Dersham made the motion that Area 2C should fish under a reverse slot limit of U45/068 (smaller than 45" inches and larger than 68"), and Area 3A should remain at status quo.
Council member Sam Cotten offered an amendment that would have prohibited captain and crew fish for June, July and August in Area 3A. Several members spoke against it, including ADF&G Commission Cora Campbell. The members that spoke against it all suggested that the amendment was unnecessarily conservative. The amendment failed 7-4.
The motion, being a recommendation, didn't not require a roll call vote and passed without objection.
SEAGO Executive Director Heath E. Hilyard and board members Tom Ohaus and Stan Malcom all spoke to the recommendation and offered to the Council that the reverse slot limit would probably be the best management option for 2C's diverse business models.
The recommendations ultimately have to be approved by the IPHC which meets in Anchorage in late January.
I wish they would have put an end to the two a day charters.
Does the reverse slot limit u45/68o in 2c based on a one or two fish limit for charters?
Also, does anybody know if that approval is final?
Seems to be a rational compromise for the area, after last years 37" limit.