Friday, January 25, 2013

Halibut harvesters catch a break

The International Pacific Halibut Commission today approved a coastwide catch limit of 31.03 million pounds for this year.

That's a reduction of over 7 percent from last year.

But the cut could have been much deeper, with commissioners considering a suggested 33 percent reduction coming into the IPHC annual meeting this week in Victoria, British Columbia.

The commission set season dates of March 23 to Nov. 7.

The IPHC manages U.S. and Canadian halibut stocks. The bulk of the commercial catch comes from Alaska.

Here is the full slate of 2013 catch limits, by regulatory area, expressed in millions of pounds. Figures are rounded slightly.

Regulatory area2012 catch limits2013 catch limits% change

Click here for a map of IPHC regulatory areas.


Anonymous said...

Does anybody know why the cuts were so much less than the recommendation? I thought for sure they were going to cut it much more than they did. Not complaining, just curious.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Staff made it clear that there were no "recommendations" this year. The "Blue Line" represented harvest policy used in previous years'.

I was there and it was a different meeting than past years. Fishermen were presented with a risk-based decision table and made their recommendations to the Commissioners with that information in mind. The fishermen are in it for the long run - it would be a mistake to say that politics played a role as none that I know would trade short-term gains at the expense of the resource.

Anonymous said...

It was all politics....other wise area 2C would have gotten a slice of the extra 9 million. The commissioners steared away from harvest rates and apportionment. The fact is the big boys and Canada got there's and the small fleet of Southeast Alaska got cheated. The conference board is made up of mostly Canadians and heavy hitters. Politics was a major player and anybody with 20/20 vision can see that.

Anonymous said...

Area 2C has the Same biomass as Canada. 2.97 million vs 7 million.....Poltics?

Anonymous said...

The fact is that nobody from 2C asked for more at the CB, they supported the Blue Line. What Canada got vs. other areas is another issue...

Anonymous said...

So that's what our fishery has become? You have to specifically ask for more than the model suggests or you get the shaft?

Next time I'll be sure to throw a "pretty please" into my letter too, maybe then they'll give us an equal amount over the blue line?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see that the cut wasn't made as steep as recommended before, although it's necessary to make cuts in quota when required I believe the cuts shouldn't be as substantial as seen before. The commission should study ahead and realize that the cuts are needed and start gradually reducing the catch quota, not realizing suddenly and cut to almost 100% in some areas in short period of time.

Thank you IPHC

Anonymous said...

"The fishermen are in it for the long run - it would be a mistake to say that politics played a role as none that I know would trade short-term gains at the expense of the resource."

Now that's about as funny a statement as I've ever heard. Kinda like all the CDQ's are doing great.

Anonymous said...

It took a couple years for 2C to finally take the recommended cut and it finally paying off with gradual increases.

We out west may have been better off biting the bullet and taking the full cuts. At least till we get trawl bycatch cut.

Anonymous said...

I spent the week at the meetings and the results stink of taking care of your own needs and the science being offered be damned. It was a fish grab in the most blatant way, there is NO backing rationale for the quota's for each area. I mean 2B's harvest rate is way higher than 2C and 2C has the best survey/fisherman CPUE of all of the areas. It was a very sad day for the long term health of the halibut stocks.