What's the concensus on this one?
What's the concensus on this one?
"People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery
I doubt you'll find consensus. From my perpective, something had to be done. Growth in the charter industry has to be accounted for in the management plan.
It's really simple.... If they drop the halibut limit to 1 in some places then almost every out-of-state angler is going to spend his money where the limit stays at 2. The economies of the 1-fish places will take a HUGE hit... and restaurants, hotels, and fishing shops will take almost as big of hit as guides will. If they ever drop it to one fish everywhere in AK, millions of tourist dollars that would've been spent on AK guides, out-of-state licenses, hotels, restaurants, bars, etc, will instead be spent where people can go and actually bring back a mess of their targeted fish to the dock (tuna fishing in Hawaii or Mexico, for example).
I know some will probably say "well then fish for lingcod or salmon after you get the one halibut." Some people don't want to fish for either of those species and they may not be available at the time of their trip anyway. And besides, a lot of boats will not target other species until if and when everyone on board is done culling halibut. So if you catch your one keeper halibut early in the trip, your choice will to be to either spend the other 4-plus hours "sight-seeing" or put on a much smaller bait and hope to haul up a few rockfish. Not many people are going to travel thousands of miles to put up with realities like that.
If they "have to" do something about the current regulations in places that supposedly have a low population, there are a lot of things that could help the population but not kill the livelihoods of guides and cause thousands to cancel their "dream trip" to Alaska. Such as leave leave the limit at two but only one can be above 40 inches (would save a lot of breeders). Or...Leave the "2 of any size" rule in place except issue tags for anytime someone wants to keep a 48-inch or longer fish. Maybe four tags for residents as well as non-residents who buy an annual license and two tags for people who buy a temporary license. Each tag would be used when a person wants to keep a fish that's 48 inches or up. And the fine for being caught with an untagged 48-inch fish should be so high that the Anchorage paper decides to print it on the front page (i.e. deterrent needs to be huge and well advertised).
I fished Dutch Harbor in the summer of '07 and the halibut bite was nothing short of incredible both days I went out (caught at least 25 one day). And it's almost always like that according to everyone I talked with there. There's no reason for the limit not being at least three in Dutch, especially if they make one or two of the fish kept be 40 inches or less. Yet if enough bureaucrats with obvious alterior motives get their fellow bureaucrats to go along with them, even Dutch Harbor's limit could drop to one.... Claiming a one-fish limit needs to be widespread is about as rational as claiming Palin's IQ is at the genius level.
What are the areas for the 1 fish limit?
The news accounts fall quite short in really providing information on the action taken at the Council meeting. I have posted on the SEAFA website, the council motion with I believe all the verbal amendments made. This will provide a better indication of what occurred until the Council staff is done with the meeting and has a chance to post the official motion on their website.
I have been out of the fray for a while but I do not think there is going to be a huge migration of fishermen from SE to South Central for one more halibut. For people spending 1000 dollars a day to fish a remote lodge in Alaska the number of fish they can kill should not make that big a difference on their plans to come fishing. Even this last year when there was the very real threat of a one fish limit in SE, I did not get a single fishermen that used to fish SE and decided to come to South Central so they could put one more fish in the freezer. I think if the lodges in SE can offer a great trip, do some catch and release and bring home limits of quality fish, is should be enough to survive....It is fair and equitable...I am not even going to go there. There is simply no right answer, especially on this forum.
With that said, if you take one fish from us in South Central, we will be hurting becasue our client base is largely locals who do in fact want to bring home as much meat as possible and judge the value of a trip by the poundage they bring back to the freezer.
I am still confused by the whole plan. It looks like there may be some mathimatical errors in the the Merigan tables. I am going to leave that to the experts to figure out.
I am hoping that once the limited entry plan is impemented that the guided industry can come together and reach some agreements as to how we do business to controal our harvest to a point where we stay in the magic two fish any size limit for as long as possible. I have some ideas on that but for now I am keeping them to myself.
I was hoping for a little larger allocation in 3A but hey, I am glad this thing is coming to an end. I am sure I know two SE longliner/ trollers that are plenty glad too.
Good luck down there guys...It has been a long battle and I hope it is over for a while. Next time I see you guys, i'll buy you both a drink.
From an out of stater who is coming up in July, I would not spend the money to take a charter out for one fish. Just not worth it! For the 300.00 there are a lot of other things i could fish for.
Andy, The tables on the SEAFA website are from the State of Alaska and go with the original State of Alaska motion. I don't have a copy of the table that Gerry Merrigan provided with his motion. They also talked about a correction to one of the tables but since the audience didn't have copies I couldn't follow it.
As you probably know, the Council did not take any action in 3A for exceeding the 2007 GHL so there will still be a two fish bag limit in 3A and a new rule is being published in November (according to the NMFS report at the Council meeting) for a one fish bag limit in 2C (Southeast).
For an official version of the catch sharing plan motion the Council staff now has it posted on their website.
right hand side of page under the section "In the News"
Same with my Dad. He paid $300 and couldn't keep the tuna.
I think it's a shame that things are going this way. While I do think we're past the point of reason with unregulated growth, gutting the industry area wide?
I am all about the conservation of halibut. But, as we know, that's not the issue here, and I do have a problem with a sport fishermen on my boat being forced to leave a fish in the water which will only be caught by another. There is a big loss for me (I'm certain that at least 40% of my long time mostly ex boat owner Alaskan customer base will find a friend to go with instead) and small gain for the commercial fishermen. Correct me if this is wrong OTFs, but the numbers I've seen indicate that the net gain to the commercial sector is generally a few hundred pounds per vessel?? Hardly pays for fuel. Over time I think you will see the harvest made up by rental boats, ride shares, etc. If you squeeze the balloon on this end...
Also, while I have you, future charter harvest predictions don't seem to factor in a loss of capacity due to the moratorium. Are we now assuming that the moratorium won't fly?
The bottom line for me is that one fish won't work in 3a and as this threat lingers, the industry is held captive. I suppose customers may still fish in 2c, I guess we may find out. I certainly don't want to see lingcod in the cross hairs any more than they are now.
My hat's off to you too, OTFs and the others who put the time in. As I'm fully consumed by other things right now, I was only able to spend a day at the meeting this go around. Although I don't feel much simpathy for IFQ holders who bought in at the extreme high end and are now complaining about declines (kind of compares to charterboat guys who started this season and have no clue), I have no animosity towards responsible commercial fishermen. Unlike all of the talk, you can't begin to have an opinion until you've put the time in and that's not easy or cheap. Unfortunately, the only reward most of the time is that eventually someone will hate you...
What Zone is Homer in? Seward? i tried to find it but could not. Thanks Guys!
So 3A is the area for Seward.......still at two fish, and likely to stay that way after reading the council motion and looking at historical catch. Still catch was listed in an odd way, thousands of pounds, and I had a hard time reading it.