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Thread: Halibut Conservation -What say you?

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    Lightbulb Halibut Conservation -What say you?

    I just finished reading the latest banter back and forth about commercial versus charter industry.

    Here is what we know...or we think we know:

    Cutting the limit down to 1 fish
    A. Fewer people will pay $225-$300/trip for a chartered trip, resulting in charter businesses going out of business.

    B. Businesses that support the charter industry will go out of business

    C. Will yield a lower harvest for the charter industry

    D. Make the lawyers rich because of the never ending lawsuits.


    Creating a Quota for the Charter Industry

    A. Those who have fished will retain, those who want to get in won't be able to unless they have a lot of money to purchase the Quotas from existing Charter operators

    B. Will cap the amount of fish that can be caught for both commercial and charter industries.

    C. Create a monopoly in the charter industry that doesn't exist now. (or does it?)

    D. Again make the lawyers rich because of the never ending lawsuits.


    What are your proposals that help conserve the resource and allow it to replenish itself with out cutting the limit for chartered sportfish anglers or creating a quota system for the charter industry?


    I like the idea of what the Kenai River Sport fishing Assoc. is/was doing... giving the angler who catches a King larger than 50" up to $800.00 for a mount if they let the big fish go. They can still catch a smaller king for meat if they like, but let the big one go.

    Can the halibut charter industry do something similar?

    Here is my proposal.

    When a sportfish angler on a charter boat catches a halibut equal to or larger than 60"/100lbs the fish is to be released.

    The charter boat industry and the commercial industry will be asked to pay a small fee or tax if you like to provide funds to purchase commercially caught halibut, which will be purchased at 70% of the going rate the commercial fleet gets when they sell it on the docks. (We all know those fees will be passed on to the customers/consumers anyway)

    The angler is to be rewarded by receiving 50lbs (50% of whole weight of a 100lb fish) of fresh/processed halibut meat. If the photo opportunity is an issue, then advise the anglers on the dock to take pictures of the fish in the water as it won't come out if it is over 60" The angler will go home with meat and the breading stock stays in the water. The angler will be responsible for the processing fees associated with packaging etc. as if they killed their 60"+ fish and took it back to the dock.

    Their limit will be reduced by only the one fish, and they will be allowed to catch their second fish if they haven't already.

    If the fish caught/released was over 72" or 200lbs the angler would receive free packaging

    This idea does the following things:

    Allows the sportfish anglers to go after two halibut as they do now thus giving them the feeling they aren't blowing $200-$300 on one fish

    Allows the charter industry to self regulate as the market/economy dictates.

    Reduces the pressure from Charted/sportfishing on the breading stock of the halibut.

    Allows both sides (commercial/charter) to contribute to the solution by either providing the meat at a reduced cost or paying a small tax to pay for the meat.

    Allows the supporting business to chip in (processing/freezing) to keep their businesses open.

    We all know that halibut over 100lbs have grainy meat (this isn't an absolute statement, but a general rule of thumb), so why not let them go and allow them to work on replenishing the stock.


    Also, before you shoot bullet holes into this idea, please think of some way of making it better, or instead of opening fire on it, just let it be and add one of your own.

    Bickering back and forth between commercial/charter industries is getting us no where. And in the end, it is pitting us against each other. Most of us here love to fish, some do it for sport, some do it for a living...but if we don't cut the BS and come up with a solution that works for all, then we are going to piss it away like the Washington and Oregon fisheries have.

    Future generations depend on us figuring this out.


    And for the record, my second year (2006) of halibut fishing I did catch a 238lb halibut. Yes I kept it, not realizing the issue we have at hand. Yes it will be my last fish kept over 100lbs.
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

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    Its nice to see someone offer a solution instead of just bi**ching about the situation. thanks

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    It would also make sense in my mind to not run a contest to see who can kill the biggest breeders out there. I love the idea of tagged chickens and turkey being worth the big money. Having a contest to see who can kill the biggest and best breeders is foolish in my mind

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    It is nice. While I don't agree with many of those ideas or opinions, it is nice to see that the commercial fishery isn't being made the usual scapegoat.

    I believe the problems with the charter industry are in their own making...a resistance to any kind of limit or control. And therefore they should sleep in their own bed. No one ever guaranteed that their industry, which relies on the ups and downs of the economy, tourism, and the abundance of a natural resource, would support the number of charters and businesses that it does. All good things come to an end and nothing is forever. Those folks got into the business well-knowing the risks. We all know 1 of 10 coffee shops on the corner have a harder time making it than 1 of 2. I don't think the results of their own choices should be anyone's responsibility, other than their own.

    It is unclear what the daily bag limit reduction in 2C will do. Our economy is already so bad. It will be hard to draw a cause-and-effect relationship. However, we have seen other sport fisheries, both salt and fresh water, change with regulation...from complete closure, to restricted limits, to catch and release. People find a way to make the fishery work, or they simply spend their money on something else.

    The bag limit reductions aren't making the lawyers rich. That is being done by those resisting the limits and controls.

    I don't believe a quota limit for the charter industry would mean that only those already in the fishery could charter, and newcomers wouldn't be able to. No monopoly. Unlike the commercial fishery, a rod-and-reel open-access fishery seems doable...fish aren't being harvested in large quantities in short times. Charters could come and go from the industry freely, without discrimination, as long as their industry-total quota was not exceeded. And of course the commerical fishery already has quota limits.

    I believe conservation should be left to the fishery professionals and biologists who are tasked by law to manage the resource. And I don't think they can do it legitimately without somehow limiting or controlling the ever-growing commercial charter industry. That was one of the reasons the commercial fishery went IFQ...managers couldn't control it.

    I am not a fan of subsidizing or rewarding charters, especially by the commercial fishery (70% of price, giving meat, etc.). I believe regulations can be put in place requiring charter conservation, without burdening others who are in direct competition for the resource. Where conservation is a concern, I am a supporter of a requirement to keep the first fish caught, regardless of size. No culling or continual catching/releasing until you get a "big one". Conservation measures must be directed by an enforceable regulation. I have no problem if the charter industry financed their own incentive program.

    I am also not a fan of self-regulation, whether it's based on the market, economy or whatever. It doesn't work. Regulations should be based on fisheries related science or justification, and solid management practices dictated by our fishery laws.

    I am fairly pleased with current regulations recently in effect for 2C. Although they are being contested by the lawsuit mongers, for the most part they cover all the bases.

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    Sport fishing is 13% of the problem so they should be 13% of the solution!!!!!!!! If the long-liners release all of their big fish so will I...........As it stands your plan would release 13 out of 100 large fish caught. Where I fish, if I released a 100 pounder it would only have to swim a mile or so to get on a long-liners hook, so the fish would still end up in the freezer. It's not just charter boats that catch big fish, way more 100 to 300 pound halibut come in on commercial boats every year then they do on charter boats.

    Like Grampy says, charters don't harvest large quantities of fish.

    1995 was the beginning of the decline in the Halibut when the IFQ was implemented.

    I've watched so called "professionals---biologists" screw up more populations of fish and game in my life, that I wonder if they're not meeting down wind of a DEA burn pile.

    Cut the IFQ, limit the charters, problem solved........

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    Capt T, you should really use all of gramps post as it's right above yours and easy to verify.

    Gramps " Unlike the commercial fishery, a rod-and-reel open-access fishery seems doable...fish aren't being harvested in large quantities in short times. "

    He did not say charters don't harvest large amounts. He's shown with links, and actual facts what those numbers are thought to be.

    Onto facts CaptT...........you got anything to back up your statement about mismanagement? If you do do they involve Alaska? IPHC? The NPFMC? Or you going to bring up the east coast? You see in Alaska, actual fisheries management exist. The charter halibut fleet is just being involved, forcibly. You apparently don't like that but have so far given no reasons why.
    Also even 2C the recruitment looks good and stocks are on a upswing. So Hopefully this will all be almost forgotten with two fish limits and an actual charter TAC so business can be more predictable. (got that from reading the stock assessment and proposals.)

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    from assessment...


    Projections based on the currently estimated age compositions suggest that the exploitable
    and female spawning biomasses will increase over the next several years as a sequence of strong

    year classes recruit to the legal-sized component of the population.

    link
    http://www.iphc.washington.edu/halcom/Default.htm

    Under 2008 stock assessment
    Last edited by Akbrownsfan; 06-03-2009 at 19:41. Reason: added link

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    The whole trick to making the incoming recruit classes actually recruit into the fishery to where they help in the future is staying within the catch limits/management targets of IPHC so we are harvesting approx. 20% of the biomass abundance in 2C and not the 40-50% range we have been in.
    In other words everyone needs to live within their limits and for the charter industry that is their GHL.

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    Default So far so good

    Thanks you guys for responding. So far it is civil...lets keep it that way.

    So if a TAC was implemented on the charter fleet, how do you propose it be fairly put in place?

    I agree with you CaptT about the fact if you let a 100lb fish go the commercial fleet may very well pick it up. But then, we will know that the charter fleet isn't harvesting the brood stock. If the

    I think as a captain or a charter owner I would be most concerned about my clientel being happy versus the number of fish I have killed over 100lbs. If the clients are happy, you are putting them on big fish and in the end they go home with 50+ lbs of fish, what is the problem? You still have your job/lively hood and the charter industry has actually given something to the conservation effort. Again, you will always have the " I want to kill that 240lb fish because it is the biggest thing I have ever caught!" people that don't understand the predictament our fishery is in. We would have to do our best to explain the purpose upfront versus after they are livid because their fish was let go.

    Someone who knows me personally read this thread and asked me a question I am not sure of. "What is the mortality rate of catch and release on a halibut? Does the depth of water they were brought up from matter? Does the size matter?" This is relavant to the thread because in my proposal I suggested the fish larger than 60" be released. Anyone know the answer to this... with proof?

    Grampyfishes: I have to ask you if know what the balance, regarding the professionals/biologists that are charged with making the laws, what industry they come from...their background so to speak? I have only heard that the boards are loaded with commercial fishery experts/biologists and representives. They do have the money to pay someone to sit on those boards... The reason I bring this up; what is the balance of representation for both industries in these groups of people charged with making the laws etc?

    One thing I would like to ask everyone to remember is this... With out two things, Halibut and consumers/clientel, neither industry will exist. Lets take care of them before it is too late.

    Again...please stay civil!!!
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

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    Default Please explain

    What do you mean by recruit classes? Sorry for my ignorance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Just the Facts View Post
    The whole trick to making the incoming recruit classes actually recruit into the fishery to where they help in the future is staying within the catch limits/management targets of IPHC so we are harvesting approx. 20% of the biomass abundance in 2C and not the 40-50% range we have been in.
    In other words everyone needs to live within their limits and for the charter industry that is their GHL.
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

  11. #11

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    If anybody was serious about halibut conservation they would be all up in arms about halibut bycatch. Then they'd be figuring out how to stop feeding the whales.

    Funny thing is that I was reading Francis Caldwells "Salmon on my mind" tonight. One of my favorites. He talks about massive amounts of halibut in many of the spots I fish. Where did all those fish go? They were long gone before the charter boats showed up in my area in the late 70's.....

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    seriously if you want to know about this issue read this link.

    Archer the mortality for sport caught Halibut is in there in one of the tables.

    Gives the prorposal, the whys, and answers public comment. Many of the comments could be right out of any of these threads. I suggest reading it or trying..........it's a big document. Still if anyone really wants to know.......................................

    link

    http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-IMPA...-06/i10337.htm

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKArcher View Post
    What do you mean by recruit classes? Sorry for my ignorance.
    Really simple answer The young juvenile halibut: IPHC uses the term recruit classes for a certain size/age that they use for determining the halibut biomass abundance.



    I would also add the NPFMC halibut stakeholder committee worked on a lot of plans besides an IFQ halibut charter plan. The problem with the other options is that they take a combination of federal and state legislation and not enough of the charter sector is behind any one plan enough to move forward. http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/curre...takeholder.htm

    One of the stumbling blocks appeared to be the constant turnover in the charter industry so you couldn't identify the players and when you started to get momentum behind a plan you would have a group say but wait I just started charter fishing and your plan doesn't include me so the process would start over. Which is why the stakeholder committee started with a limited entry plan in what was meant to be an interim plan because it was felt for the long term health of both commercial and charter fisheries you needed a market base method of moving quota from the commercial fishery to grow the charter allocation (whether it was on an individual plan (halibut charter IFQ's) or what we termed a "pool" plan where the allocation would grow for the whole sector to meet their needs. Comments can be made on the limited access plan/moratorium through June 5th http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/frules/74fr21194.pdf

    On the mortality of halibut caught and released, ADFG did a best guess estimate discussion paper. http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/curre...iscards907.pdf

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    How about some facts on Halibut Bycatch?

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    Default Bycatch from Whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    How about some facts on Halibut Bycatch?

    Please specify who is catching the halibut as bycatch, and what are they fishing for?

    Specifics tend to lead to direct answers, generalizing or leaving the grey door open lets one or a group of individuals think or assume they are being attacked and the mud starts flying.

    Good question, anyone have an answer?
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

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    Default Recent Meetings

    went to a few meetings recently and found out a few interesting facts on bycatch (to learn more just google halibut bycatch). The longliners do waste some fish but primarily rockfish and lings. Trawlers in the bering sea actually catch and kill (read waste) almost as many halibut as are caught by the sport and commercial fleet combined. Although the weights are obviously different the 4# halibut they trawl up and kill would be breeders some day. As for the longliners, I feel no sympathy for them. Having witnessed a LOAD of yelloweye and lings that were brought to the dock the other day was amazing. HAppy note, they were used by the locals. Commercial longliners and charters have their place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKArcher View Post
    Please specify who is catching the halibut as bycatch, and what are they fishing for?

    Specifics tend to lead to direct answers, generalizing or leaving the grey door open lets one or a group of individuals think or assume they are being attacked and the mud starts flying.

    Good question, anyone have an answer?

    Why? Halibut bycatch is halibut bycatch and it must be addressed IF they are serious about halibut conservation.

    Everybody knows that the trawl fleet wastes more halibut than the Longliners and Charter fleet in SE AK catch combined. Why aren't the "conservation" longliners trying to stop the bycatch? Well.... that would bring bycatch out in the open and the longliners don't want to have a conversation about waste, as they have their own issues.

    Don't feed the whales.....(grin)

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    What about the average Joe Boat owner who isnt a charter or a commercial fisherman? What about a guy who has a 24' Hewescraft and likes to go halibut fishing with family and friends for no profit what so ever? I hear some suggestions that the Commercial industry offers discounted meat to give to clients and so on. So those who own thier own boat for thier own fishing loose out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by B-radford View Post
    What about the average Joe Boat owner who isnt a charter or a commercial fisherman? What about a guy who has a 24' Hewescraft and likes to go halibut fishing with family and friends for no profit what so ever? I hear some suggestions that the Commercial industry offers discounted meat to give to clients and so on. So those who own thier own boat for thier own fishing loose out?
    Your loosing out anyway do to near shore depletion!!!!!!!!

    I fished for 15 years privately, before I started Chartering, the areas I used to fish and slay the big Halibut don't even have chickens anymore......I watched it decline starting in 1995 when the IFQ came into play. Thats why were trying to get sport -fish zones to keep the long-liners out of some areas.

    Another thought is have a regulation depth for ComFish, 50 fathoms or deeper.

    Some comfishermen fish black cod and Halibut at the same time so they fish real deep anyways, 1800 to 2200 feet. They tell me they have more trouble with sleeper sharks at that depth, but have to deal with it anytime the fish black cod.......

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    Default Always forgetting someone!

    Quote Originally Posted by B-radford View Post
    What about the average Joe Boat owner who isnt a charter or a commercial fisherman? What about a guy who has a 24' Hewescraft and likes to go halibut fishing with family and friends for no profit what so ever? I hear some suggestions that the Commercial industry offers discounted meat to give to clients and so on. So those who own thier own boat for thier own fishing loose out?
    The proposal that I came up with follows suit with the current 1 fish limit in the South East area, and that is the 1 fish limit only affects those fishing on a chartered boat. Anglers on private boats still have a 2 fish limit.

    Now, if I have that wrong...some one PLEASE CORRECT ME NOW before I buy my own boat!!!!

    Ah...my 200th post. What a chechaquo...
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

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