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Thread: Halibut catch sharing plan.

  1. #1

    Default Halibut catch sharing plan.

    The halibut catch sharing plan proposed by the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council will kill thousands of jobs and saves not one fish. This is not a fish conservation issue in area 3A but it is an allocation issue. Check it out! http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/NPFMC/CURRE...MOTION1008.PDF
    The plan is presently at NMFS being written into legaleeze and will be sent to the secretary of commerce to be signed.

  2. #2
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    I just dont get it. Why not put a surcharge on us non residents on our license. 1.00 per day or 25.00 for a yearly. Use that to buy out com fish IFQ's. Each year start at 1.00 a lb. each day raise it .25 a pound and keep going up until an IFQ holder wants to sell. when the money is used up its done for the year. It must be sold not leased to the state so its a done deal forever. With sport caught fish worth so much more to the economy why not protect it. Comfish would not have anything to complain about as they dont have to sell if they dont want to. They can keep thier IFQ or sell it if they wish.

  3. #3

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    John Boehner Where are you? The halibut catch sharing program proposed by the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council kills thousands of jobs and saves not one fish. The halibut catch sharing program takes fish from the guided sport fishermen and gives them to the large commercial fishing interests off the coast of Alaska. This is not a fish conservation issue in area 3A but it is an allocation issue. The management council is manned by the same commercial fishing industry that stands to gain by this action.We ask for your help in keeping these jobs by advising the secretary of commerce to not sign this proposal until a more accurate accounting of its repercussions on resource conservation and economic impact can be calculated.

  4. #4

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    [QUOTE=Flatfish;921738]John Boehner Where are you? The halibut catch sharing program proposed by the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council kills thousands of jobs and saves not one fish. The halibut catch sharing program takes fish from the guided sport fishermen and gives them to the large commercial fishing interests off the coast of Alaska. This is not a fish conservation issue in area 3A but it is an allocation issue. The management council is manned by the same commercial fishing industry that stands to gain by this action.We ask for your help in keeping these jobs by advising the secretary of commerce to not sign this proposal until a more accurate accounting of its repercussions on resource conservation and economic impact can be calculated.


    get used to it. the recent decisions by the board of fish regarding cook inlet salmon are not conservation issues but are allocation issues as well. I guess we have to live with it even if we know it is wrong

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    I just dont get it. Why not put a surcharge on us non residents on our license. 1.00 per day or 25.00 for a yearly. Use that to buy out com fish IFQ's. Each year start at 1.00 a lb. each day raise it .25 a pound and keep going up until an IFQ holder wants to sell. when the money is used up its done for the year. It must be sold not leased to the state so its a done deal forever. With sport caught fish worth so much more to the economy why not protect it. Comfish would not have anything to complain about as they dont have to sell if they dont want to. They can keep thier IFQ or sell it if they wish.
    Great idea kgpcr! We're hoping a pool program will gain traction. I'm sure most sport fisherman would be willing to buy a halibut stamp for $10 that could be pooled to buy back IFQs to ensure their reasonable opportunity to harvest two fish. We just don't have any leadership in this state willing to take on the issue. Pretty sad!

  6. #6

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    Who is the Halibut Negotiating Group?
    This statement is from the NPFMC minutes for the April 2008 meeting.
    Ed Dersham moved to amend the Fixed Percentages under Element 1, Option 1, to add a fifth
    option: (e) 19.6% for Area 2C, and 17.4% for Area 3A, and under Fixed Pounds, add a fourth
    option: (d) 2.13 Mlb for Area 2C, and 4.69 Mlb for Area 3A; and under the 50 Fixed/50 floating
    allocation, add a fourth option: (d) Area 2C: 19.6%; .13 Mlb; Area 3A, 17.4% and 4.69 Mlb. The
    motion was seconded and failed, 6 to 4, with Benson, Dersham, Tweit and Mecum voting in favor.
    Mr. Dersham explained that his rationale for the additions is to address the fact that there has been only
    analysis of ONE YEAR'S logbook data and he is concerned that if the 2007 data have a similar ratio there could be a dramatic immediate effect on the charter fleet. However, it was pointed out to Mr.
    Dersham that the numbers in the current motion were agreed upon by the halibut negotiating group.
    Who the hell is the Halibut Negotiating Group. Does anybody know? I was not at the meetings and I can not find a record of who was in the group.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner View Post
    the recent decisions by the board of fish regarding cook inlet salmon are not conservation issues but are allocation issues as well. I guess we have to live with it even if we know it is wrong
    I'm guessing you are refering to all the other recent BOF decisions besides those done regarding salmon stocks of concern in the northern district of Upper Cook Inlet - which at the basic level are conservation based, such as the closure to sport and commercial fishing for king salmon on four rivers in the northern district on the west side and to make adjustments in the time and area of the central district drift fleet in an attempt to pass more northern district sockeye to the northern district. Both of these BOF actions regarding stocks of concern involved restrictions to the groups that were the largest harvesters of each respective salmon that had a stock of concern designation.

  8. #8

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    The GHL is the issue. It was based on a voluntary angler survey made by the state of Alaska. The angler survey was never intended to be the basis for restricting access to a fishery. The GHL had a built in 25% margin of error that proved to be inadequate. The first year of the actual fish count in the logbook and the GHL was exceeded. The NPFMC pushed the issue by stating that the charter catch will soon surpass the commercial catch and something drastic had to happen to save the fishery. It has been a full assault on charters ever since. Inclusion into IFQ program was not approved by the council for some reason and now the LEP is in effect and the halibut catch sharing plan will be implemented soon to restrict all charters to a one fish limit. And all this after an area 3A catch of 20% less than the GHL for 2009!

  9. #9

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    AN INTERESTING QUOTE FROM THE ALASKA LONGLINE FISHERMEN ASSOCIATION NEWS LETTER! 3/30/2011
    "The halibut biomass has dropped 50 percent over the past decade and catch
    limits for the directed fisheries have been dramatically reduced to promote
    rebuilding, yet halibut bycatch limits for the trawl industry have not been
    reduced since they were set in 1986. Groundfish fisheries (trawl and fixed
    gear) in the Gulf of Alaska are allowed to take 2,300 metric tons of halibut as
    bycatch. In fact, the number of halibut annually taken as bycatch equals the
    number of halibut taken each year in the directed fishery.
    Halibut taken in trawls are mostly small fish (less than 32 inches), but since those small fish
    represent the rebuilding potential of the halibut stock—and the economic survival of the halibut fishermen—that bycatch is unacceptable".
    The same number of halibut being wasted as being harvested, good god! The NPFMC and NMFS solution, restrict the sport fisherman.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halibutgrove View Post
    Great idea kgpcr! We're hoping a pool program will gain traction. I'm sure most sport fisherman would be willing to buy a halibut stamp for $10 that could be pooled to buy back IFQs to ensure their reasonable opportunity to harvest two fish. We just don't have any leadership in this state willing to take on the issue. Pretty sad!
    I am not so sure this will work because an IFQ is nothing more than a share of the harvestable amount of halibut! So if the harvest is set at 20 million pound, Then less IFQ holders would still harvest 20 million pounds making thier IFQs worth more.

    I would like to see comfish have to bid on halibut just like loggers have to bid to harvest fed timber every year.

  11. #11
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    The LEP and Catch Sharing Plan makes sense.

    Charters have been uncontrolled and unlimited for decades...It's been a free-for-all. It all began in 2C where charter harvests were growing at an alarming rate and the commercial fishery was losing allocation to them at an alarming rate. Without a doubt charters were on a collision course with the commercial fishery. Extrapolating out their growth showed the commercial fishery being exterminated very quickly. Charter harvest levels were consistently exceeded...not just a little or within the 25% growth allowance, but grossly...over 106% by 2008 alone. All while commercial harvests were slashed over 50% and the biomass declined. The negative effects were compounding. Managers saw this coming and charters knew darn well too. But the charter industry simply turned cheek, found scapegoats, and kept taking all they could laughing all the way to the bank. Thus the long over-due restrictions and regulations on the charters...similar to what the other commercial fishery endured decades ago. I will agree that 3A has been dragged into this, since they met their GHL's much better (3A is evidence that GHL can work and be met).

    Nobody likes bycatch, including me. And like me, the commercial long-liners hate what the trawlers do...because the trawler bycatch is subtracted from the commercial halibut fishery's allowable harvest. But understand, bycatch, waste, or halibut in the fish hold...it doesn't matter...all would be taken from the biomass in one way or another. In other words, the less bycatch and wasteage, the more the commercial guys are allowed to harvest. It all comes out of the same pool...It's all figured in already to sustain the biomass.

    I'm not sure what makes commercial charters think they deserve more halibut, less restrictions, or 2-fish limits. They were never guaranteed anything...Not the commercial fishery's allocation...Not an unlimited supply of resource to run their economic engine...Not economic or tourism stability...and certainly not 2-fish limits. Nobody forced charters into this. Charters generated their own expectations, created their own niche, and solicited their own clients...all which has eventually imploded on them. And after experiencing their free-for-all which was nice while it lasted, charters are now kicking and screaming all the way. Halibut are a Federal resource owned by all citizens of the U.S. And that is where the halibut should go. Charters don't do that. They serve a niche recreational clientele. The commercial fishery does, providing all U.S. citizens halibut without enduring the costs to fly to Alaska and hire a charter. In comparison and proportionality to the number of U.S. citizens served by the fishery, commercial charters get way more allocation than the other commercial fishery.

    Cry as the may, the charter industry isn't dead, and the sky isn't falling. Some will go, some will stay, some will thrive, and others will continue to complain. But adjustments will be made, changes will take place, and the fishery will remain viable, no longer imploding on itself at the cost of other user groups. If one commercial fishery can survive it, commercial charters can too. As a life-long Alaskan who's seen the birth of the charter industry, I know from experience that the charter industry can thrive in fewer numbers.

    Really charters just make sportfishing easier. Sportfishermen will still have the same opportunity and access they have for decades. It may be more expensive or require more trips with a charter, but that is the cost of hiring commercially. Alternatively, any sportfishermen can rent a boat and catch his own 2 halibut, buy his own boat like many of us do, or tag along with friends and family. Like it always was. And if those things are too hard, folks can always get their halibut at the store.

    If fairness between users is your concern, then realize that after public input, due process, and careful review of fishery laws concerning fair and equitable allocation , the Federal Courts have ruled to uphold the restrictions and limits on charters. Again, these rulings did not come from fishery managers, but Federal Courts based on law.

    I support these recent limits and restrictions on the commecial charters. Just like I supported something being done with the other commercial fishery decades ago. Anytime we allow a commercial industry to exploit our public resources for profits to no end, limits and restrictions are absolutely necessary.

  12. #12
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    My thoughts on the bycatch grampyfishes - -----> Comercial trawl bycatch leaves less for all users. How can you think that the waste of the comercial trawl fishery is okay? I realize that nothing goes to waste in the ocean except plastic and beer cans maybe...but come on....is it REALLY OK?

    If twice as much product hit the street would the demand still be there? Would the surplus marketable human injested halibut cost less? Do you waste your fish you sportcatch and say that it is okay?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    How can you think that the waste of the comercial trawl fishery is okay? I realize that nothing goes to waste in the ocean except plastic and beer cans maybe...but come on....is it REALLY OK?
    I don't think the waste of the trawl fishery is ok, and I didn't say it was. Maybe you didn't read what I said?...

    "Nobody likes bycatch, including me. And like me, the commercial long-liners hate what the trawlers do..." - Grampyfishes

    My point was that even if bycatch and waste were eliminated (impossible), it would just be added back into how much the commercial fishery can harvest. More bycatch = less commercial halibut harvest. Less bycatch = more commerical halibut harvest. Allocation wouldn't change. Impact on the biomass doesn't change. Bycatch is subtracted from allowable commercial catch. We can agree bycatch is a waste. But the typical argument that reducing bycatch will get all users more fish is misunderstood. Reducing bycatch just means the commercial fishery will have less subtracted from what they will be allowed to harvest. It all dies one way or another. It's the waste part that's sad.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    If twice as much product hit the street would the demand still be there? Would the surplus marketable human injested halibut cost less? Do you waste your fish you sportcatch and say that it is okay?
    Theoretically, under the rules of supply and demand, the demand would be less and cost would go down. That is if new markets could not be created. But halibut markets have a history of usually being in demand and taking good prices. And no, I don't waste my sport fish. However, there is a mortality associated with those I catch and release. I would imagine there is a bycatch mortality with halibut released from charters too. I would have no idea what it is...in a proportionality ratio, probably much lower than commercial. I've seen the hook and release data before, and many sport caught halibut are released. We all know culling chickens for bigger fish is an ongoing practice, and there is a mortality associated with all that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    I don't think the waste of the trawl fishery is ok, and I didn't say it was. Maybe you didn't read what I said?...

    "Nobody likes bycatch, including me. And like me, the commercial long-liners hate what the trawlers do..." - Grampyfishes

    My point was that even if bycatch and waste were eliminated (impossible), it would just be added back into how much the commercial fishery can harvest. More bycatch = less commercial halibut harvest. Less bycatch = more commerical halibut harvest. Allocation wouldn't change. Impact on the biomass doesn't change. Bycatch is subtracted from allowable commercial catch. We can agree bycatch is a waste. But the typical argument that reducing bycatch will get all users more fish is misunderstood. Reducing bycatch just means the commercial fishery will have less subtracted from what they will be allowed to harvest. It all dies one way or another. It's the waste part that's sad.


    Theoretically, under the rules of supply and demand, the demand would be less and cost would go down. That is if new markets could not be created. But halibut markets have a history of usually being in demand and taking good prices. And no, I don't waste my sport fish. However, there is a mortality associated with those I catch and release. I would imagine there is a bycatch mortality with halibut released from charters too. I would have no idea what it is...in a proportionality ratio, probably much lower than commercial. I've seen the hook and release data before, and many sport caught halibut are released. We all know culling chickens for bigger fish is an ongoing practice, and there is a mortality associated with all that.
    If we could lower the bycatch that could be given to the charters and the longliners 50 50 then the charters could keep three fish per day but no 2 halibut would be fair or do you just want it to all go to the longliners too!! I have never seen a crusafier on a charter or a sport boat but I have on longliners and I watched halibut get ripped of at the rail by jaming the gaff on the roller as don't even talk about sport/charter mortality. You may fool some but not me with this, as it sounds almost like teachers needing higher pay so the kid won't suffer.

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    You are talking about taking allocation from the commercial fishery and giving it to the charters...using bycatch as the disguise.

    The commercial allocation includes bycatch. It is subtracted from their allowable harvest. We can all agree that maximum efforts should be made to reduce bycatch. But even if bycatch is reduced, all that does is increase the allowable commercial harvest. It's all included in their allocation. Charter allocation has nothing to do with commercial bycatch.

    You present no real reason to take allocation from one user and give it to another, other than to give yourself more fish. Fair and equitable allocation is defined in our fishery laws. The Federal Courts have upheld the current allocation distributions, under the law and in the best interest of the people of the U.S. who own the halibut. The Federal Courts, after public input, due process, and close review of the laws and plans approved by your Secretary of Commerce, have heard the charter industry's argument to take more allocation from the commercial fishery. The Courts ruled and the charters lost.

    Bycatch and waste are ethical issues. They are already included in management measures to sustain the biomass. I do not support bycatch or waste, but I realize both are part of any fishery (which was my point about sportfishing mortality where there is lots of catch and release - I have seen charters cut-mouth to get hooks out and I know sportfishermen cull their catch for the biggest fish). You can tell stories and talk about the ethics of crusifiers till the cows come home, but it won't get you any more allocation. However, it is a shame, and it does work on emotions. A better approach would be to discuss the accuracy of bycatch reporting, particularly by the bottom trawlers, so overharvesting the biomass doesn't occur. Managers figure some of that in, but in my opinion, perhaps not enough.

    For over 15 years the charter industry had an opportunity to preserve their 2-fish limit by simply meeting harvest levels....levels that were based on historical charter catch with the addition of a 25% cusion for growth. Instead chaters took advantage of their uncontrolled and unlimited growth and consistently exceeded harvest levels, up to 106% in 2008 alone. This after blatently knowing for years it would lead them to restrictions. So my advice to the charter industry is to take responsibility for your own actions, and work as an industry to meet harvest levels...then you have a case to get your 2-fish limit back. Shift your efforts to your own actions rather than looking for other users to blame. Scapegoats (like bycatch) don't work.

  16. #16

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    Bycatch is the #1 issue facing all other user groups right now, when it comes to halibut. You can say "scapegoat" all you want, but he fix is in. Big seafood controls too much. Because of this control, outrageous amounts of bycatch are allowed. A shame.

  17. #17

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    Glad to see the longliners waking up and realizing what the real issue is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flatfish View Post
    AN INTERESTING QUOTE FROM THE ALASKA LONGLINE FISHERMEN ASSOCIATION NEWS LETTER! 3/30/2011
    "The halibut biomass has dropped 50 percent over the past decade and catch
    limits for the directed fisheries have been dramatically reduced to promote
    rebuilding, yet halibut bycatch limits for the trawl industry have not been
    reduced since they were set in 1986. Groundfish fisheries (trawl and fixed
    gear) in the Gulf of Alaska are allowed to take 2,300 metric tons of halibut as
    bycatch. In fact, the number of halibut annually taken as bycatch equals the
    number of halibut taken each year in the directed fishery.
    Halibut taken in trawls are mostly small fish (less than 32 inches), but since those small fish
    represent the rebuilding potential of the halibut stock—and the economic survival of the halibut fishermen—that bycatch is unacceptable".
    The same number of halibut being wasted as being harvested, good god! The NPFMC and NMFS solution, restrict the sport fisherman.

  18. #18
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    270ti, you make my point.

    Commercial catch limits have been drastically reduced, in part because of the trawler's bycatch. That's how it's supposed to work. There is only so much allocation the commercial guys get. And if the trawlers use up a portion of that allocation due to their bycatch, the long-liners have their catch limits reduced. And that is exactly why the long-liners take aim at the trawlers...they reduce long-line allowable harvest limits. That is not something the long-liners are finally waking up and realizing. That has been known for decades.

    And again, please don't misguide others here by associating bycatch with biomass declines. They are two completely seperate animals. Again, bycatch is already figured into what is allowed to be commercially harvested. And that allowable harvest is caluclated to sustain the biomass. Bycatch is in there already. The biomass has natural declines and fluxuations based on many factors. Again, if your argument was that bycatch is being grossly underestimated, not calculated into allowable catch properly, and overharvest of the biomass is occurring because of that, then I might join in your ideals and ask you to provide some solid evidence and present it to fishery managers. I do not want to see the biomass decline because of underestimated bycatch any more than you.

    But if your point is that reducing trawler bycatch will get charters and sportfishermen more fish, then I would repeat you are barking up the wrong tree. For that to happen allocation would have to be taken away from the commercial fishery and given to the charters/sportfishery. The Federal Courts have ruled against that under fair and equitable allocation laws. Again, reducing trawler bycatch would just increase the commercial catch limit. It doesn't change the size of the pool they can harvest from (allocation). It would not change allocations for charters or sportfishermen, who already can take as much as they want. If your point is that we need to reduce trawler bycatch, then I would agree wholeheartedly.

    As a charter guy, you can digress to bycatch, scapegoat the commercial guys, and blame others till the cows come home. But the real question remains: What are you and your charter industry going to do to control your own overharvests? What are you going to do to stop exceeding your catch limits. That's what needs to be addressed by you. The rest is just distraction from taking your own responsibitly, and it is getting you nowhere.

  19. #19

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    I guess you could say that biomass decline and bycatch are unrelated..

    Unless you believe that bycatch has been grossly underestimated throughout the years, due to an inadequate observer program and clever fishermen who know how to avoid reporting.

    Longliners were fine with the trawl fleet. Big Seafood and it's influence allowed them to catch more than the ecosystem could handle for years and years, due to the influence they had on the counsels. Then it suddenly caught up to them and we have the decline we have now. Oops! Now all of a sudden they are forced to look at things, and catch a more realistic number of halibut, instead of the inflated numbers they'd been catching for years. Charters are cut way back, longliners are cut way back, what about the draggers?!!

    I'm just glad the longliners are figuring out how they'd been duped into thinking it was somehow it was the sportfishermen who were causing the cuts, when in fact it was big seafood. I like they way they ended that article.. The same number of halibut being wasted as being harvested, good god! The NPFMC and NMFS solution, restrict the sport fisherman.

    Blaming the charter fleet for the comm fish fleets woes would be like Oprah blaming her fork for being fat.

  20. #20

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    2003—2009 total overage of the GHL by charters in 2c was 3.2mil. or approximately 533,000 lbs a year. The under harvest in area 3A was 1,200,000 lbs. So the total overharvest by charters for those six years was 2,000,000. Over those six years the wastage was 72,000,000 lbs. That is the problem, not the guy from Iowa who wants to catch a couple of chickens.

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