Ak Fishing News: New Halibut Regs Posted for SE Alaska
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From an ADFG News Release:
NOAA Fisheries issued new regulations for guided sport halibut fishing in Southeast Alaska. The new federal regulations keep the current sport fishing bag limit of two halibut per day but require that, if two fish are taken, at least one of them is no more than 32 inches long. To allow for efficient enforcement, NOAA also stipulated that all halibut harvested on charter vessels must be retained whole or with their head and tail as a single piece and the carcasses must be retained onboard until all the fillets are offloaded. The new regulations apply only to halibut harvested by anglers fishing from a vessel with a hired operator in International Pacific Halibut Commission Area 2C. The complete new regulations are posted at www.fakr.noaa.gov.
The new regulations became effective Friday June 1, 2007 and are designed to remain in place for the entire sport fishing halibut season which ends December 31, but may be superseded by charter halibut fishing management measures currently being considered by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
The intent of the new regulations are to reduce halibut harvests (in pounds) by the guided sport charter vessel sector in Area 2C, while minimizing negative impacts to sport fishing clients and coastal communities. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game estimates that the 32-inch maximum size restriction for one of two potential halibut taken by charter vessel clients could reduce the overall harvest in Area 2C by approximately 518,000 pounds (234.8 metric tons).
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