Saturday, December 7, 2013

21 percent cut for halibut suggested

The staff of the International Pacific Halibut Commission this week recommended catch limits for the 2014 season.

As you can see from the chart below, we appear to face another year of general decline.

The commission will set final limits at its annual meeting Jan. 13-17 in Seattle.

Numbers are expressed in millions of pounds.

Regulatory area2013 catch limits2014 staff advice% change

Click here for a map of IPHC regulatory areas.


Anonymous said...

Curious how 2C goes up 40%, and every other regulatory area from OR/WA to the end of the Aleutians goes down, by a lot in most cases. That doesn't really make much sense. Can someone explain that?

I wonder how all those shelling out $30-35/lb for halibut IFQ's are feeling. Sad thing is I think the cuts continue in 2015 and beyond.

Anonymous said...

They took their cuts a few years back when other areas held steady. Plus no hidden trawl bycatch. Recent IFQ purchasers are hurting.

Sad thing is US commissioners don't give a shit about halibut, just preserve the trawl free for all.

Anonymous said...

The column labeled staff advice represents the "blue line" which is what the IPHC scientist say should be the quota for that area to achieve the target harvest rate. The difference this year in that same column is that for 2C and 3A that number has the charter allocation in it too (because the charter halibut catch share plan or CSP will be in effect for 2014) so that number is higher than what the commercail set line quota is. I believe that the 2014 blue line commercial catch reccomendation is 2C at 3.32Mlb and 3A at 7.32Mlb.

Look at slide 8 in this link:

2C took the blue line in 2013. All other areas incuding the West Coast and Canada recieved higher allocations in 2013 than the blue line. There is extremely high trawl bycatch of halibut in the Bering Sea, 3B and parts of 3A. Most of it from bottom draggers. If the quotas stay the blue line for 2014, it may be that some of those areas trawl bycatch will be 200%-300% of what the setline quota would be. 2C commercial quotas took a beating for several years by having their quota cut by 78% and taking the hit for years of charter GHL overages.

Anonymous said...

Eastward migration model......B.S.

Anonymous said...

yep tagging studies showed substantial eastward migration, not a whole lot of "no migration" and not a tendency to migrate west. How much east migration?? Pretty sure them halibut dont really think much about political borders or socio economic unless someone has evidence that says there isnt an eastward migration then......

maybe ocean decadal oscillation or environmental or its always been that way....

maybe them trawlers can buy some science that says whatever they want......that would probably say something like everybody is wrong except them and that trawling is good for halibut, the habitat, salmon, crab, will cure cancer and bring world peace

Anonymous said...

In 2013 the commissioners approved catch limits 9 million lbs above the blue line. The 2014 blue-line is actually very similar to the 2013 blue-line.

Anonymous said...

Westward Areas did not take the recommended cuts last year.They are now paying the price.

Anonymous said...

This article should come with a bit more information. In area 2C and 3A you need to factor out the "wastage" and "guided recreation" portions in order to get the "correct" numbers for the directed setline fishery. This then puts 2A at approximately 12% increase and 3A at loss of 34% relative to 2013 harvest TACS. This would leave the overall directed fishery loss at approximately 30%

Anonymous said...

Why is trawl bycatch weights not age structured model based to represent lost harvestable mean weights to mature adults. If draggers caught a million 2 pound halibut - those immature halibut represent lost harvest @ x amount at mature age by weight in biomass and setline GHL.

The 200 percent drag bycatch can become >4000% or ; i.e., foregone harvest levels (FHL's)depending on immature halibut bycatch levels.

Anonymous said...

How low can it go before they shut it down?

Anonymous said...

He has compared the dragger Golden Fleece's bycatch back when he only had 30% coverage to the present when he is 100% observed.

King salmon and halibut bycatch went up 900%.
This shows that trawlers are "gaming" their observer coverage. They fish safe tows when observed and totally different when unobserved.

NMFS's new observer program has resulted in the trawlers only observed 16% of the time. This is an incentive to "game" the system even more.

The IPHC's numbers reflect the result: a 50% reduction in perceived bycatch when actually it is much worse.

The US commissioners will do nothing.

Anonymous said...

A harvest rate was selected last year that had a 68% chance of resulting in a stock size this year that would be smaller than last year. Is there any surprise stocks are lower this year or are we suffering from selective memory?

Anonymous said...

Why is trawl Halibut bycatch not floating with Halibut abundance? Will the North Pacific council permit the trawl industry to wipe out the Halibut resource in Alaska?

Anonymous said...

Check out the trawl efforts through the IPHC working group to redefine prohibited species catch to a 100 percent retention fishery for halibut.

See, if you just redefine it, all the halibut bycatch just goes away and the marketplace gets an infusion of formerly jail bait fish.

Anonymous said...

The biggest obstacle we face is the IPHC. The IPHC's continued support of the Cost Wide assessment is the problem. Areas with good survey results are leveraged against areas with poor survey results(or vice versa). This makes it impossible to close a single area. The only reason for the coast wide assessment is to allow continued fishing in poor areas so trawlers have access to halibut by-catch.

Anonymous said...

It is important to remember that there is no groundfish trawling in either the federal or state waters of SE Alaska.

Might be just a coincidence that halibut are doing better there.