We've heard considerable worry that halibut catch limits in the Bering Sea (Area 4CDE) could go drastically lower this year, dealing a serious blow to fishermen from St. Paul and other communities.
Now we have the federal government's position on the matter with this letter from Eileen Sobeck, head of the National Marine Fisheries Service, to the International Pacific Halibut Commission.
Sobeck recommends "a limited increase in the Area 4CDE catch limits in 2015 relative to the current IPHC harvest policy."
This, says Sobeck, would not hurt the halibut stock, would help spare local people economic hardship, and would recognize good progress by groundfish trawlers to reduce halibut bycatch.
The letter comes ahead of the IPHC's annual meeting Jan. 26-30 in Vancouver, British Columbia, where the 2015 catch limits will be set.
Sitka troller charged with two violations
3 weeks ago