NOAA Revises Rule
NOAA NEWS RELEASE:
April 5, 2011
NOAA issues interpretive rule to clarify charter halibut limited access program
Juneau, AK — Charter halibut guides operating in Southeast Alaska (Area 2C) and the Central Gulf of Alaska (Area 3A) will not be required to have a charter halibut permit on board during a recreational halibut fishing trip if the guide is not being compensated to provide sport fishing assistance to the anglers on board.
NOAA Fisheries today issued a clarification to a provision in the Charter Halibut Limited Access program.
With the publication of the interpretive rule in the Federal Register, a charter halibut permit is only required to be on board a vessel in Area 2C and Area 3A if both of the following conditions are met: (1) one or more persons on board are catching and retaining halibut, and (2) a guide on board the vessel is receiving compensation to provide sport fishing guide services.
For example, under this rule, a guide would not need a charter halibut permit to take family or friends on a recreational fishing trip if the guide does not receive compensation.
NOAA Fisheries recognizes that compensation for assistance is not limited to exchanges of money and can include a trade of goods or services in exchange for taking someone fishing. NOAA Fisheries will consider the specific circumstances of a fishing trip to determine if a person is providing sport fishing guide services for compensation.
NOAA Fisheries has updated the small entity compliance guide for the charter halibut limited access program to reflect this interpretation of the regulations. The guide is on the NOAA Fisheries web site at: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sust...harter/faq.pdf
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On the Web: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sust...guided2c3a.htm
That is great news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for the update!
But it still looks like a guide who allows a friend to pay for gas and groceries might be considered as receiving compensation if NOAA decides he has. The regulation needs still more clarification - like FAA has done with the commercial/non-commercial pilot situation. Considering the gas for a 36 footer can run $100 or more that is a substantial amount. Judging from comments on this forum the beer for a day trip would cost a heck of a lot more!
You are correct. The interpretation for "compensation for assistance" is still wide open. How do you calculate compensation when the tank is empty when you fill it, or half full when you fill it, or full when you go out, but still collect money from your friends for reimbursement for gas?
Still it's better than a poke in the eye with a stick. Bottom line: I can take my wife (50% boat owner) out fishing for halibut this season.
I'm glad they also made this fix, but I don't know if I agree with gusdog44, about the regulation needing further clarification. Usually, clearer is better, but in this case by further defining it you also clearly delineate the loophole. I think the generalized exception is probably fine, because this is a case of "it depends on the situation".
However, if it was going to be clarified further, I'd also stipulate that someone doesn't count as a "friend" if they have retained and paid for that guide's services (or will) in that calendar year. Maybe that's already in there...
Originally Posted by gusdog44
The way I read that is if the Friend buys the gas upon return from the trip, then he would only be buying the gas/fuel used while he was aboard, and thus no compensation... Of course you'd have to be careful about who brought what food, snacks, and liquid beverages aboard..../John
Can a guides friends tip the deckhand?
Do deckhands have to be liscensed?
Can a deckhand fish and retain those fish when friends are on board?
If it's a fishing trip among family and friends, and not a charter trip, why would they have a deckhand at all?
Originally Posted by steffco
Originally Posted by MRFISH
Almost impossible to prove that, so trying to clarify and be specific if futile and just a waste of time, money, and resources.... Its like a dipnetter that gives a fish or two to a neighbor or friend. It's illegal, but VERY hard to enforce... No fullbush, I am not giving away my dipnetted fish, its an example....
I'm taking a poll
<--------click this star if you think I should run for Gov
Now what about the Cost Sharing among friends in a private boat? Will the same rule apply, or will my life long friend whom I take fishing be interigated at the pumps for swiping his card insisting he pay for fuel and charge me for illegal guiding, as was debated in a previous thread?Seams to me, it fits the same criteria, even though they would have a tough day in court making that one stick.
Hmmmm interesting..... My bet is it will be like the "no guide Sunday" on the Kenai. We won't believe how many "friends" some guides have! For most operators that are honest this is a good thing, but where money and greed are involved there will always be somone who will want to take advantage and we know there is little to no enforcement out there.
I've said all along: enforce this rule in the good old fashioned Alaskan way of enforcement, a sting operation. Yes it's expensive, and yes, scofflaws will beat the system, but it is only fair and consistent within the concept of "due process".
There are illegal guides in all fisheries, there are guides that do illegal things in all fisheries. it isn't right no matter who it is. People complain about guides out on Sunday's, heck I see some non-guides out there everyday of the week with different people in thier boats. the guys that will illegally guide for kings and halibut will do it regardless of the regulations. I got a feeling the recent stings will put an end to the "boat limit fishing" for halibut, they sent a message. I would bet that there will be some guys pushing it this summer, their names will get out and we will see some undercover action in the next year or so once the violators get known. Nothing an honest guide likes more than a dishonest guide getting nailed. Reputable guides will be the first to turn them in, where it goes from there we will see. Unfortunatly not enough gets done, but I got a feeling we will see and increased presence. Hopefully
Originally Posted by yukon