Halibut charter Moratorium passes, GHL is tightened
From The North Pacific Fisheries Management Council's Anchorage Meeting this week.
This is a preliminary report on the moratorium information in brief.
Your inclusion into the moratorium will be based on 5 or more trips in 2004 or 2005, and in the year prior to implementation (you have to still be active with more than 5 trips) you will get a permit. If you have less than 15 trips your permit may not be transferred, but you can fish it forever or until you die, or until a Permanent Solution supercedes it.
A moratorium permit is for Area 2C or 3A so you have to stay where you are at, or sell your 3A permit when you move to Sitka and buy a 2C permit.
The permit will be issued to the guide Business owner.
You cannot lease your permit to another person.
Your permit will be endorsed for the maximum number of halibut clients you carried on any trip in 2004 or 2005 and the minimum number is 4 people.
You can accumulate up to 5 permits in a business, those original businesses that have over that number will be grandfathered in but if any permits are sold from that business the permits sold will lose their grandfather rights and the rest of the permits will be still grandfathered. That business with the remaining grandfathered permits cannot then buy more permits up to their original number again, once any permits are sold the remaining number is limited up to the use cap of 5 permits.
Each business who reported 5 bottomfish trips during 2004 or 2005 and the year prior to implementation would be issued a permit based on the number of trips summed for all vessels in his best year (2004, or 2005) unless an unavoidable circumstance occurred. A business would be limited to the number of permits equal to the highest number of vessels used in any year during the qualifying period.
CQE program – the council allows communities with less than 10 active charter businesses in 2004 and 2005 to request up to 4 permits in 2C or 7 permits in 3A. These permits will not be transferable. They must be used in that community.
The GHL analysis was revised for 2C to include more restrictions and should get final action in June at the Council meeting in Sitka. The council began an analysis for 3A and it may or may not have a review in June (more likely in October in Anchorage).
The Advisory Panles recommendation which was moving 2C’s percentage of the combined commercial/charter catch level from 13% to 16% and to adjust 3A’s combined catch level from 14% to 15%. There was talk about making the GHL a floor, no less than what it is now. We do not know where it ended up because they were still taking public testimony at 9:00am today (Sunday).
The official minutes of NPFMC meeting should be posted to their website next week.