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Thread: Halibut "catch share plan"

  1. #1
    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Homer, Alaska, USA

    Default Halibut "catch share plan"

    Now is the time for average guy "Joe Angler" to comment on the proposed halibut Catch Share Plan coming out of NOAA fisheries. Projections from knowledgeable folks here in Homer say a 1-fish limit starting next year is very possible if this latest version of the CSP goes through. I've included the NOAA release so you can write and email your comments. You can also download a Powerpoint presentation that will walk you through what is being proposed and how it will affect you.

    The comment period has been extended to August 26th. Please make your thoughts know to the powers that be.
    Thank you, Jim

    NEWS RELEASE: June 27, 2013

    Julie Speegle
    907-586-7032 w.
    907-321-7032 c.

    NOAA seeks public input on proposed halibut catch sharing plan

    NOAA Fisheries is seeking public input on proposed regulations that would implement a catch sharing plan for the commercial and guided sport (charter) Pacific halibut fisheries in Southeast Alaska and the Central Gulf of Alaska.

    Pacific halibut in Southeast Alaska and the Central Gulf of Alaska is fully utilized by commercial, recreational, subsistence, and personal use sectors.

    The North Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended the catch sharing plan to establish a clear allocation between the commercial and charter sectors in Southeast Alaska and the Central Gulf of Alaska, provide stability in charter harvest, and provide halibut fishery managers with greater precision in setting halibut catch limits and management measures that are responsive to changes in halibut exploitable biomass and fishing effort.

    The catch sharing plan would replace the charter guideline harvest level with a percentage allocation of the commercial and charter combined catch limit for each area. The combined catch limit would be determined by the International Pacific Halibut Commission each year prior to the fishing season. Under the catch sharing plan, the allocations to the charter and commercial sectors would vary with changes in halibut abundance.

    The catch sharing plan would also authorize transfers of commercial halibut individual fishing quota to charter halibut permit holders under the “guided angler fish” program. The guided angler fish program would give charter anglers the opportunity to land halibut up to the limit in place for unguided anglers. For example, charter anglers in Southeast Alaska are currently limited to one halibut of a specific size per person per day, while unguided anglers may retain two halibut of any size per person per day. Taking advantage of the guided angler fish program, a charter guide could allow a client to harvest up to two fish of any size per day.

    The public comment period on the proposed rule is open for 45 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. Address comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian, and identified by FDMS Docket Number NOAA-NMFS-2011-0180. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at
    Mail: P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668
    Fax: 907-586-7557
    A copy of the proposed halibut catch sharing plan is available online at the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region website:

    NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels at


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  2. #2


    thanks for the link cliffhanger!.....yep, the sports fishery for hallis gets closer and closer to the end!...BC coast is now down to a 6 halli/year. none over approx. 57 lbs( as of this year)!....good luck to you guys up north in the future! larry

    29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
    18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

  3. #3


    I have spent very little time studying this proposal. Obviously, I should read it, but, like most, I probably won't. I fish for halibut recreationally several times a year, and have no other interest in the fishery other than that. Perhaps I could lay out my (uneducated) opinion and then someone could tell me why I wouldn't like this plan or where I've erred. So, here it goes:

    As has been stated on this forum before, the South Peninsula is 9th and Main in the world of halibut fishing. There is no doubt that the popularity of our halibut fishery has grown, and the course we have been on is unsustainable. If I'm not mistaken, the commercial quota program is limited, and catch quotas slide up and down depending on abundance. Up until recently, the charter industry has been limited only by the market with no respect to the health of the biomass. Open to harvest 11 months a year with (up until recently) no limit on the number of commercial operators. Still no limit on the harvest level in the sport fishery - the whole world is welcome to buy a license and catch 2 halibut per day, 11 months a year. Going to limited entry for guides was a great first step not only in responsible resource management, but also in ensuring the economic viability of this industry. Business 101: Create barriers to entry into your market to ensure viability.

    We know that the halibut biomass is fairly large right now, but there are a large number of small fish. Not really a good sign if I'm not mistaken. Isn't this a classic response of a fish biomass that has been overharvested? Also, if I'm not mistaken, these small fish are not legal for commercial longliners to harvest, but are harvested in droves by the "chicken charters". Regardless, we have to look to the future. Shouldn't there be some sort of mechanism that regulates sport/guided harvest according to abundance? Is it unfair for that mechanism to affect charter operations that service a large percentage of out of state residents before it affects individual sportfish residents - at least to a limited degree?

    So, why would I be opposed to the catch share plan?


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