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Thread: Halibut Charter Moritorium being announced this week

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    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Default Halibut Charter Moritorium being announced this week

    I have it from a relieable source that the long over due halibut charter guide moritorium is going to be announced for its final public comment period this week. After which, it should become law. That would mean that last year was the "year prior to implementation" The permits should be good to go by 2010 if all falls into place.

    By my simple understanding of this rule, you will have had to fished for halibut in 2004 or 2005 AND the year prior to implementaion which was 2008. If you have not done these things and you are in this business, you might be looking towards someone who will be getting a transferable permit or you will not be halibut fishing next year.

    I will post the announcment when if shows up in the Federal Register.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCAPT View Post
    I have it from a relieable source that the long over due halibut charter guide moritorium is going to be announced for its final public comment period this week. After which, it should become law. That would mean that last year was the "year prior to implementation" The permits should be good to go by 2010 if all falls into place.

    By my simple understanding of this rule, you will have had to fished for halibut in 2004 or 2005 AND the year prior to implementaion which was 2008. If you have not done these things and you are in this business, you might be looking towards someone who will be getting a transferable permit or you will not be halibut fishing next year.

    I will post the announcment when if shows up in the Federal Register.
    I also thought that there was talk about each permit would be issued with a limit on trips, figured by the highest number of trips you took in 2004 or 2005, then that permit holder is locked into that number of trips forever.

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    There was a minimum number of trips to qualify for a permit - Maybe 5 trips a year for the qualifying period for a non transferable permit and 20 trips per year for a transferable (sellable) permit.
    I would think that once this goes through, the State will me motivated to do something to prevent other species besides halibut from being over harvested by displaced halibut guides. time will tell...

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCAPT View Post
    There was a minimum number of trips to qualify for a permit - Maybe 5 trips a year for the qualifying period for a non transferable permit and 20 trips per year for a transferable (sellable) permit.
    I would think that once this goes through, the State will me motivated to do something to prevent other species besides halibut from being over harvested by displaced halibut guides. time will tell...

    Does this reward the lodge owners who got us into the problem in the first place? Or are the permits given to the actual captains of the boats?

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    Default blame?

    Permits go to the business owners. The same people who bought and owned the boats ( in most cases). Giving permits to paid skippers was not really well recieved at the Council level. I think everyone who expanded their charter businesses during a time when there was obviously a problem with over capitaliztion shares the blame for the problem (including me)

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCAPT View Post
    Permits go to the business owners. The same people who bought and owned the boats ( in most cases). Giving permits to paid skippers was not really well recieved at the Council level. I think everyone who expanded their charter businesses during a time when there was obviously a problem with over capitaliztion shares the blame for the problem (including me)

    It might be a little different in SE than it is up by you. We have some 10 - 30 boat operations that popped up. They are often owned by one guy, who obviously makes the majority of the money. The day skippers usually make $200 a day plus tips for a 14 hour day. Some make a monthly salary. Subtract taxes from that, and it's not really much money considering the licensing involved in being a capt.

    I personally think it would have been great to give the "guide" permits to the actual guides. Those greedy 10-30 boat lodge owners would then have to pay their captains a better wage to keep them and treat them right too. Just my opinion.

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    Default wow

    Most commercial operations pay a percentage of the gross boat receipts to the crew. Seems like these charter operations are basically sweatshops.

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    Default Pay

    In Valdez most of the skippers make around $300 aday plus tips. Average charter is $1500 fuel cost $600 booking fee $150 bait $40 other gear $30 insurance $100 based on 50 charters. total expenses $920 not including the Captains wages The Captains that do not own boats do so because they do not want the hassel of paying and maintaining the boat.

  9. #9

    Default Federal Register

    Proposal is now in the Federal Register & open for public comment through June 5th. See 74 Fed Reg 18178. Available at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/prules/74fr18178.pdf

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    I'm curious how the logbooks can be interpreted as "fact" for these lodges? If in 04 and 05 the lodge owners fudged the log books to make it seem like they ran more charters than they actually did? How can they prove the boats actually left the dock, other than what THEY put on the log books. I recall back in those years working for a lodge and the owner was registering his buddies sport boats to "protect himself" as he put it.

    This entire thing is a scam in my opinion. You South Central boyz might do it legit, but in SE where most of the problems are, lots of shady charter operators exist. It boils my blood thinking about all those out of state fly by night charter nazi's in Sitka getting permits!

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    Thanks for that link, aklefty.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dipper View Post
    Most commercial operations pay a percentage of the gross boat receipts to the crew. Seems like these charter operations are basically sweatshops.

    I worked for an operation for a few years as a captain when I was first starting out where the out of state lodge owner would pay his help (fish cutters, maids, cooks) 1k a month, plus tips. He'd work them 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. He'd find unsuspecting college kids from down south who loved the outdoors and expect them to quit after a season.

    Are these the people we want to give 'forever' rights to the industry?

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    The only way to check them is to see what they paid taxes on. If they logged sport craft as being "guided" then I bet they did not pay taxes on the revenue that they should have earned from those trips. Tax records are usually the best records.


    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    I'm curious how the logbooks can be interpreted as "fact" for these lodges? If in 04 and 05 the lodge owners fudged the log books to make it seem like they ran more charters than they actually did? How can they prove the boats actually left the dock, other than what THEY put on the log books. I recall back in those years working for a lodge and the owner was registering his buddies sport boats to "protect himself" as he put it.

    This entire thing is a scam in my opinion. You South Central boyz might do it legit, but in SE where most of the problems are, lots of shady charter operators exist. It boils my blood thinking about all those out of state fly by night charter nazi's in Sitka getting permits!
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captaindd View Post
    In Valdez most of the skippers make around $300 aday plus tips. Average charter is $1500 fuel cost $600 booking fee $150 bait $40 other gear $30 insurance $100 based on 50 charters. total expenses $920 not including the Captains wages The Captains that do not own boats do so because they do not want the hassel of paying and maintaining the boat.
    I dont understand your numbers. I am know nothing about your costs but have run business my whole life and your numbers dont add up. Whats a booking fee of 600.00? the expenses listed dont make it 920.00 for a one day trip. Help me out here. Like i said i know nothign about your busines. Just trying to understand. Thanks!

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    I think that he is saying a booking fee is $150 on a average number of trips per season. The $600 is the fuel cost estimate that he giving over the same amount of trips.

  16. #16

    Default What a joke

    The halibut moratorium is a joke. The sheer economics of this season and the next couple seasons will weed out the charter fleet like nothing else will. There will be many charters that will be going out of business. Those permits won't be worth the paper they are printed on. I am tell you first hand, the halibut charter business isn't a a business where you can make good money. I've learned this the hard way. We do ok, but I am not relying on the income for my livelihood. It breaks down like this, on a six pac boat on average the charter operation may profit $400 and change, barring nothing major going wrong, if something major were to take place, let's say losing a lower unit, or any other sort of major damage, the operator could be out the entire season's profits. We bascially have a 90 day window to break even and make a profit. Your typical charter may do 50-70 trips in a season, some a little more, some a lot less. So, $20,000/$25,000 is bascially what a descent operation will profit as a business. Now let's look at this season, for a whole lot of folks even the ones that have been in business a while are looking at that window shrinking drastically. I've talked to several lodge and charter owners that basically have a good July and that's it, with a few trips in June and August. That window is looking more like 40 days instead of 90, over 50% decrease. It will put a lot of folks out of business and looking for a new line of work, same goes for the guides and lodges. I don't think most people understand how this economy is really effecting the sportfishing industry up here.

    On top of everything else, you are in a constant battle with the forces that be over allocation issues, it's really a no win situation. We'll just try and have some fun this year. I am just glad I have other pokers in the fire.
    Marc Theiler

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    n Valdez most of the skippers make around $300 aday plus tips. Average charter is $1500 fuel cost $600 booking fee $150 bait $40 other gear $30 insurance $100 based on 50 charters. total expenses $920 not including the Captains wages The Captains that do not own boats do so because they do not want the hassel of paying and maintaining the boat.

    Gross $1500
    Booking Fee $150
    Fuel Per Day $600
    Bait per Day $40
    Other Gear $30
    Insurance per Day $100
    Total Expenses per Day $920
    Net to Business $580
    If you use hired Captain $300
    Net to Business $280
    Does not include slip fee,business LC,State Guide LC, or any maintence bills

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    isn't the state also looking at a limited entry program or was the report I heard on the news this afternoon wrong?

    Also isn't the moritorium/limited entry just for SEAK?

    About time this happened, but I agree permits should be issued to the actual guide not the bussiness owner just like commercial permits are to the fisherman and not the cannery, and the permit holder must be on board while fishing
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    isn't the state also looking at a limited entry program or was the report I heard on the news this afternoon wrong?

    Also isn't the moritorium/limited entry just for SEAK?

    About time this happened, but I agree permits should be issued to the actual guide not the bussiness owner just like commercial permits are to the fisherman and not the cannery, and the permit holder must be on board while fishing

    I spoke with the guy who authored the document linked to yesterday on the phone.

    He said they were issuing them to the business owners, because they had invested money into the business. If the boats were owned by the bank, should the bank get the permits?

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    Default wages

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dipper View Post
    Most commercial operations pay a percentage of the gross boat receipts to the crew. Seems like these charter operations are basically sweatshops.
    My captain makes 350 per day plus 50% of the tips. That is at least 450 a day. For a 100 ton license that is a premium wage for going sportfishing every day. That is also 45 grand for a 4 month season. Hardly sweatshop wages. I can't speak for SE Alaska but in our area charterboat Captain jobs are good work for 4 months by any standard.

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