Halibut bag limit reductions?

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  • ak_powder_monkey
    replied
    Originally posted by TradBow View Post
    AK,

    I know of two guys who are good enough at it they boat just about as much as a charter boat on average, not to mention they can legally keep ALL by catch in which some are intentionally targeting yelloweye, out of sitka that's pretty darn easy to do on a regular basis.

    If there is truely a problem then all users need to be reduced, comm, charter, sport, and "subsitence"! (though I hardly consider using a 160K boat, fully equiped to run charters as subsistence, or for that matter a comm boat used in such manner.)
    I'm just saying subsistence is last on the chopping block because the fishery is federally managed and theres that pesky ANILCA title 8 thats the reality of the situation, wether we agree or disagree.

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  • codeofthewest
    replied
    btt (redundant thread started)

    (btt as a redundant thread has started)

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  • TradBow
    replied
    AK,

    I know of two guys who are good enough at it they boat just about as much as a charter boat on average, not to mention they can legally keep ALL by catch in which some are intentionally targeting yelloweye, out of sitka that's pretty darn easy to do on a regular basis.

    If there is truely a problem then all users need to be reduced, comm, charter, sport, and "subsitence"! (though I hardly consider using a 160K boat, fully equiped to run charters as subsistence, or for that matter a comm boat used in such manner.)

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  • Just the Facts
    replied
    [quote=GEC1000;43524]I haven’t seen anything there that indicates representatives of the fishing public sit on the forums developing the plans. I feel this is a major mistake that will cause some heavy duty friction later. Perhaps drawing in a wider number of people with varying interests will strengthen the answer to this complicated issue. quote]

    If you look at the list of the stakeholders on halibut stakeholder panel, there are two members whose responsibility is to represent the independent angler, ADFG Sportfish Director Kelly Hepler and Ricky Gease of the Kenai River Sportfishing Association; Dave Hanson from the NPFMC is the Chair; Kathy Hansen & Dan Hull representing Commercial Fishermen; Joe Kyle representing the processing sector and 7 charter operators some for and some against the IFQ program that was on the table.
    http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/curre...olderCMTEE.pdf

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  • ak_powder_monkey
    replied
    Heck I know a few guys in PWS sound running skates I'd say subsistence is last on the chopping block...

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  • TradBow
    replied
    something other to consider is subsistence skates. I know of quite a few guys running out of sitka running lines of 30 hooks per skate for "subsitence" use. Might be something to consider to help reduce the number of fish killed overall?

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  • GEC1000
    replied
    An interesting approach to slowing down public fishing

    I am a private Alaskan fishermen, I have been for many decades. I haven't posted on this thread for a couple weeks; however, I have been following the recent posts as I continue to study this matter. Reading between the lines of more recent posts reveals a look at the attitude and approach reflected, I believe, primarily by those who have money invested. If these same attitudes are reflected by panel members working the new rules, then we have the Colonel judging chicken cooked with the original recipe, yum yum.

    A note of interest from several great posts: It seems like commission appointed a group to work toward a specific fix; control the portion of the biomass taken by the public, but rather, the group came up with a solution that impacted a deferent segment, limit the transportation industry. Someone pointed earlier that the charters, are just that, charters, these just happen to carry the public to fish for halibut. They could just as well use the license to transport people to independently owned an operated barge moored conveniently over the top of the halibut breeding area, or, to an offshore resort vessel/floating hotel, that happens to rotationally anchor over traditional summer feeding areas for 3A breeders.

    One question, of many in this multi tentacled issue comes to mind; once the newly adopted limited entry rules of halibut charters is implemented, driving up the cost of a charter, and skyrocketing the value of Charter licenses, do you really believe it will limit or control the number of fish the public takes? Some seem to be hoping, (I feel they are more dreaming), that by limiting commericial transportation, the public will stop fishing. I believe fishers will will find another way. The matter needs to be approached head on, if not, people will feel duped, or tricked, which tends to make them angry.

    I have read much of the commissions, and other related website, including the numbers, meeting minutes etc. etc. Unless I missed something, or had a senior moment, I haven’t seen anything there that indicates representatives of the fishing public sit on the forums developing the plans. I feel this is a major mistake that will cause some heavy duty friction later. Perhaps drawing in a wider number of people with varying interests will strengthen the answer to this complicated issue. I hope the good people working this highly charged issue are aware there are uncharted rocky shoals on the horizon, as I said earlier, slowing this down could help ensure a better and longer lasting answer.

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  • Just the Facts
    replied
    [quote=Akbrownsfan;43206]
    The things I think must be done for the commercial charter operators are:

    1). Set real quoats not GHL, and shut down fishing when it's exceeded. Also with an actual TAC they would have to base it on available biomass so it would float along with the commercial IFQ program quota.

    The halibut charter stakeholder panel is working on an option that would set an allocation, that would float with the abundance of the biomass if that is the alternative that is chosen and that any overage in the charter industry would be dealt with by the charter industry in the following year (separate accountability) or if an IFQ halibut charter program is chosen, it would float with the abundance. The Charter industry has a valid point that a complete shutdown in season would be devastating to them. So we are trying to design a system that allows the industry to operate the season.

    2). Go to a License limitation program. This means don't allow new charters to enter the fishery. If someone wants to become a charter operator then buy a license. This has been done in all other alaskan fisheries, and it is now time to do it for halibut charter operations. (*jig fishing for cod and rockfish is still open access but is limited by strict quotas and other factors) Make it as fair as possible but realize somebody will think they were screwed (and someone will think that) I've seen things go individual quotas before and they were never pretty, but in the end have mainly worked.

    The halibut charter stakeholder has been working on a moratorium/LLP program that the Council will be looking at during the December meeting and if everything works perfectly, the Council will be considering the initial action at the February Council meeting and final action at the April Council meeting. For a moratorium/LLP to go through the process, they need to hear from the charter industry and public that they support and see a need for a moratorium and LLP program.

    3.) require logbooks, and check them.
    The New 2006 logbooks set up a verification system to check data. They are sampling a selection of charter clients, if they find the clients from a particular operator tends to be consistently different, they will send every client for that operator a survey and then decide on the appropriate enforcement actions. The dockside creel samplers also were checking the logbooks as they were unloading clients.

    4.) possible have some fish biologist sample catch in some way either at sea or on dock.

    The dockside creel samplers do take biological information when they do dockside checks. This is where the average weight of halibut comes from.

    quote]
    Last edited by Just the Facts; 11-27-2006, 18:47.

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  • ak_powder_monkey
    replied
    Originally posted by Akbrownsfan View Post
    Wow, the just the facts poster knows what is going on. I know the general commercial fisheries up here, but mainly follow federal fisheries. The post above is very, very good. The reading he/she suggested are certainly needed if you really want to follow the discussion. I have been at some of the council meetings where this has been "discussed". ( I put quotes there as I have never seen such packed council meetings......you can tell this is a hot button issue in Alaska) (this on a council that regularly sets and decided quotas worth billions. ) I only follow this issue as it has some implications for all of the sporting public up here in Ak. I also follow the bycatch issue very closely, and so I'm familiar with Amendment 79 and 80 (I earlier said amendment 70 and 80.) (bycatch reduction issues more or less)

    The things I think must be done for the commercial charter operators are:

    1). Set real quoats not GHL, and shut down fishing when it's exceeded. Also with an actual TAC they would have to base it on available biomass so it would float along with the commercial IFQ program quota.

    2). Go to a License limitation program. This means don't allow new charters to enter the fishery. If someone wants to become a charter operator then buy a license. This has been done in all other alaskan fisheries, and it is now time to do it for halibut charter operations. (*jig fishing for cod and rockfish is still open access but is limited by strict quotas and other factors) Make it as fair as possible but realize somebody will think they were screwed (and someone will think that) I've seen things go individual quotas before and they were never pretty, but in the end have mainly worked.

    3.) require logbooks, and check them.

    4.) possible have some fish biologist sample catch in some way either at sea or on dock.

    Everyone just has to realize that the wild west (or north) days are over. We have to regulate things or none of us get to enjoy them. The tragedy of the commons is sadly very real. If both Longliners and Charter guys can work together this will benifit alaska in the long run.
    A limited entry guide system seems like the way to go to me too. Logbooks are required for all fishing guides just FYI no clue if they check them though

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  • Akbrownsfan
    replied
    JTFacts jack

    Wow, the just the facts poster knows what is going on. I know the general commercial fisheries up here, but mainly follow federal fisheries. The post above is very, very good. The reading he/she suggested are certainly needed if you really want to follow the discussion. I have been at some of the council meetings where this has been "discussed". ( I put quotes there as I have never seen such packed council meetings......you can tell this is a hot button issue in Alaska) (this on a council that regularly sets and decided quotas worth billions. ) I only follow this issue as it has some implications for all of the sporting public up here in Ak. I also follow the bycatch issue very closely, and so I'm familiar with Amendment 79 and 80 (I earlier said amendment 70 and 80.) (bycatch reduction issues more or less)

    The things I think must be done for the commercial charter operators are:

    1). Set real quoats not GHL, and shut down fishing when it's exceeded. Also with an actual TAC they would have to base it on available biomass so it would float along with the commercial IFQ program quota.

    2). Go to a License limitation program. This means don't allow new charters to enter the fishery. If someone wants to become a charter operator then buy a license. This has been done in all other alaskan fisheries, and it is now time to do it for halibut charter operations. (*jig fishing for cod and rockfish is still open access but is limited by strict quotas and other factors) Make it as fair as possible but realize somebody will think they were screwed (and someone will think that) I've seen things go individual quotas before and they were never pretty, but in the end have mainly worked.

    3.) require logbooks, and check them.

    4.) possible have some fish biologist sample catch in some way either at sea or on dock.

    Everyone just has to realize that the wild west (or north) days are over. We have to regulate things or none of us get to enjoy them. The tragedy of the commons is sadly very real. If both Longliners and Charter guys can work together this will benifit alaska in the long run.

    Leave a comment:


  • Just the Facts
    replied
    Answers to Some of the Questions Raised in the Thread Discussion

    1. The Council can not differentiate between residents and non-residents in a federal fishery such as halibut. The state can differentiate between resident and non-resident and both the State and Council can differentiate between guided and non-guided.

    2. Much of the discussion has talked about the halibut fishery being sustainable. The reason that the one-fish bag limit issue came up at this time is that when you look at the TAC set for Alaska in 2006 by IPHC and plug in the harvest taken for sport, charter, personal use (subsistence) and commercial added to the other removals that IPHC factors in and Alaska exceeded the TAC in both areas of 2C and 3A. This doesn't put us in an overfished status yet but it is a conservation concern on the part of IPHC. In previous years, the charter harvest overage of their GHL was less than the unharvested commercial catch. Approximately 3% of the commercial IFQ catch is not harvested. This is in part to the way the IFQ fishery was established so that the IFQ fishery could/should not ever exceed their catch limit. If is difficult to catch up to the exact poundage and commercial fishermen tend to not want to exceed their quota as you forfeit the fish to the state, face fines and if over more than 10% of the amount of IFQ's left on the last trip you face jail time. Pretty good incentives to be conservative and not set extra gear and we do the best we can to estimate the weight that we have caught but that is not accurate until weighed at the processor.

    3. The Council established the charter GHL in 2001. This GHL was set as a fixed number at the request of the charter industry because you wanted a guaranteed set amount whether the biomass was up or DOWN. This was your choice. The Council also provided an additional 25% quota for growth. The preliminary estimates for 2006 in area 2C is 42-47% above the GHL and for area 3A 8-9% over the GHL.
    http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/curre..._GHLstatus.pdf

    4. ADFG did not change the way it figures the final charter harvests for 2005. ADFG did make 2 predictions for the 2006 preliminary harvest numbers. The new prediction was done using the new ADFG log book data which provided the higher estimate for 2C and the lower estimate for 3A. In area 2C, ADFG did make a change to the traditional 2C preliminary estimate by factoring in a linear estimate to the other data, the same as they have been using in area 3A.

    5. The Council did vote for an alternative last winter that would have established a five fish annual limit in area 2C in response to the charter industry in 2C being over the GHL in 2004. NOAA enforcement has put up some road blocks to this issue (see stakeholder materials - five fish annual limit discussion paper at http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/curre...es/halibut.htm
    for more information) At this point to establish an annual limit that we recognize would be more perferable to the charter industry will take State legislation and council action along with additional federal funding and is several years away.

    6. In one of the threads it was stated that less clients went out in 2006. This is true for area 3A but in area 2C based on the graphs that were presented at the halibut charter stakeholder panel approximately 1,000 more clients went out fishing.

    7. It was brought up that if the bag limit was reduced, there would be more pressure on other stocks. In area 2C, the sport/charter industry was just at their treaty quota allocation of king salmon and rockfish in area 2C was almost declared overfished and an allocation was established between the commercial longline sector (we are down to a bycatch fishery only with our directed fishery closed.) and the sport/charter fishery. The State of Alaska is looking at limiting the charter industry for all fisheries.

    8. The Halibut charter stakeholder panel is working on several options, that contains a moratorium/limited entry using the control date established by the Council of December 9, 2005; that looks at an allocation scheme that could float with the biomass, but where the charter industry would be required to stay within their allocation. It allows for compensating the commercial fleet for IFQ's to grow the charter allocation and/or a share-based/IFQ plan for the charter industry. The concern of the commerical fleet is that at best the moratorium will be in place for the 2009 season and the long term plan will take longer than that. The Council stated at the April 2006 meeting,
    "The Council compliments the Stakeholder Committee on its work and encourages it to continue. As part of its plan to develop long-term solutions, the Council urges the Committee to consider a package of a modified GHL that moves with abundance, some form of separate accountability, and the provision of the proper management tools to management agencies so that each sector of the halibut fishery can be managed not to exceed its allocation.In the meantime, the Council commits to using a combination of Federal and State authority to manage each sector, charter and commercial, to the allocations established by the GHL published in the Federal Register until superseded by the Council’s long-term guided sport halibut sector plan."

    Since prohibitions on skipper and crew fish overall limits the amount of fish harvested but does not count against the charter GHL, the NOAA enforcement has knocked out the idea of annual limits, what do you suggest as a means to at least keep the charter industry in 2C somewhat close to the GHL? The commerical industry will consider it but we couldn't figure out anything else. Also, according to analysis done by the Council over the last 13 years, changing the bag limit in 2C to 1 fish for the whole season would drop the harvest by about 40% which would have the 2C charter industry based on preliminary 2006 numbers still over by 2-7% and dropping the bag limit in 3A for the month of August (which is the commercial proposal) drops their quota by about 7-8% if the charter industry growth is stagnant.

    I am a commercial representative on the halibut charter stakeholder panel and own 2C halibut IFQ shares that were purchased after the 2001 halibut IFQ charter motion passed the Council. I am willing to answer any questions or provide additonal information if asked. Most of the material and questions raised on this discussion could be answered by reading all the materials on the Council's halibut charter website http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/curre...es/halibut.htm

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  • ak_powder_monkey
    replied
    Originally posted by Cutter View Post
    I believe that alot of the bycatch comes from the Cod guys doesnt it? I've heard this, but I've never seen any figures...that being said, those are BILLION dollar fisheries....and you aint going to do anything there.

    Perhaps if we didnt feed all our American/Foreign kids those Minced meat Fishsticks and instead gave them real fish caught/cooked by us and not some school luch programs, or pre - cooked out of a freezer bag this would be different....

    Enter the almighty humpy! (come on more than $.10/lb)

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  • ak_powder_monkey
    replied
    So if the charter fleet gets curtailed what would the impacts be on other stocks of fish, like rockfish or sharks? Seems to me charters would adapt to new rules by offering new fishing choices. We should also remember that this is for southeast Alaska which sees a truely enourmous influx of tourists (like 3 million or something crazy like that) to towns that are smaller than my high school (Chugiak) of course with that influx of people
    there will be growth in the charter bussiness because there will be a lot of husbands coming on a cruise saying "hey honey I want to go fishing." In retrospect it comes down to there being too many people for the resources we have, look at the cook inlet equation with them being right on their allowcation leval, its a very sustainable thing however when you get a massive influx of people service industries grow exponentially and thus we see the massive growth in charter services in south east. I understand the commercial guys (I fish salmon commercially in the summer) there was a balance struck and they feel like the charters are taking money out of their pockets (which they are, clearly) and that seems wrong to them, and it seems wrong to me. Clearly we should not sacrifice one industry for another (another example is the pebble mine). Charter bussinesses and lodges don't make as many people money as commercial fishing boats in my opinion they also are creating a regiem shift in employment ooportunities for southeast comunities from higher paying comm. fishing jobs to lower paying deckhand jobs. Basically waht I'm getting at is that to the average young person getting a job on a longliner will make them much more money then getting a job as a deckhand.

    The solution: Stop letting cruise ships in they are truely destroying southeast (whole nother can of worms, hurray for the cruise ship taxes!) or curtail the charter industry so that we can get people making money by the pound instead of by the hour.

    The problem with that solution if the limit goes to 1 fish for everyone is that residents of southeast alaska get screwed because it is more expensive per pound for them to get the same amount of halibut (1 fish per trip vs. 2) generally people in southeast do not use halibut charters like south central to get their fish, so a nonresident limit of 1 fish might be the ticket of course charter operators will cry "foul" but its clear their growth and the current leval of economic oportunity for fishermen can not coexist someone must take the hit, and it should be the newest sector of the economy that caters to tourists. Clearly they must limit themselves somehow, in watching the berring sea crab IFQ economic disaster (which claimed at least one POS boat trying to cathc an bunch and be a buyout boat) I am somewhat biased against IFQ systems but for the southeast charter fleet it may not be a bad thing, and allow those who have made investment in the bussiness to not get screwed and force the charter industry in southeast to regulate itsself more closely. We could also have a limited entry system where there are a certain number of guide liscences and they are traded like stocks.

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  • AKCAPT
    replied
    Minimum sizes

    Minimum size limits - You will find noone who likes to keep small fish less than me.
    This is an interesting one but I am not as up on this, but I will give this a shot. I spoke to Cal Blood who is the IPHC biologist about this a few years ago…
    Yes the longliners do have a minimum size limit to allow the smaller fish to reach spawning age. It is convenient because the smaller fish have a lower value as well. Since the longliners are catching such a significant number of fish, letting the smaller fish go is a great thing.
    Charters again are catching 15% of the harvest and of that I would think that 15 – 20% of the fish that are kept are sub legal commercial fish. These fish have not yet contributed to the biomass yet. Therefore their removal does not effect the total population.
    Furthermore, if you paid 200 bucks to go fishing and for your effort you caught two thirty inch fish ( say 15 pounders) you would bring home about 15 pounds of fillet fish. While not exactly filling your freezer, you still will have some nice fresh fish to enjoy; in comparison to coming home with a half eaten sandwich and some wet clothes. Those small fish mean something to budget minded anglers when the fishing sucks. Sometimes it sucks!
    With that said maybe something like you can keep one fish any size and the other has to be over 32” would be fair. That way fishermen get to bring home something….
    Oh I forgot this thread was started about a one fish bag limit proposal….Forget that idea; Now we have to go to the Council meeting and fight to keep two fish on the table instead of working on a meaningful long term solution….
    I would say the one fish bag limit proposal had nothing to do with getting this issue moving, as the Council already had proposed 14 hours to work on this at this meeting but is a shallow attempt to severly restrict the public's access to the halibut resource.
    That's how I see.
    Now I am going to Florida to kill someone else's fish for a couple of weeks.

    nice thread, man there are some really thoughtful responses from both sides. I can't help but wonder who is akbrowns fan. Someone who knows their <stuff> on this issue from the commercial perspecive.
    Last edited by Webmaster; 11-23-2006, 20:09. Reason: language

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  • AKCAPT
    replied
    Maximum sizes

    Maximum size limits - Since regardless of where you stand on this issue the charter fleet only catches a small amount of the TAC. Yes, the larger fish are females and to produce millions of egg. However they are not very abundant and there is a huge abundance of smaller fecund females. While they do not produce as many eggs each, there are more of them, so their contribution is much greater to the overall biomass.
    Personally I advocate the release of larger fish and do believe that the significance of the larger fish is that they are genetically superior, they have avoided predation, disease, being caught, etc. They are larger, stronger, and I know it is a stretch….smarter. These are all important traits to pass on to future generations.
    Think about the quality of old growth wood verses a managed forest. Both produce wood but the old growth is the sweeter timber…
    So with that said I would 100% for a slot limit ,if it applied to the commercial sector as well. Being that I have set my fair share of longline gear I do know that most big fish escape longline gear. Especially when that gear is snap on or it utilizes the small black cod hooks. They simply straighten the hooks or snaps. However for the health of the resource for the reasons I stated above, I would be happy to let the monsters go.

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