Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Canada's halibut

The International Pacific Halibut Commission is holding its interim meeting this week in Seattle. As always, the panel is weighing a great deal of information such as the 2017 stock assessment and various regulatory proposals.

Here's a little item, taken from a staff report, that certainly caught our attention:

"The IPHC Secretariat continues to hear concern from Canadian representatives regarding the IPHC's current understanding of Pacific halibut biological distribution. Commentary indicates that the current methodology is underrepresenting the amount of the coastwide Pacific halibut stock that is within Canadian waters. Reports of large Pacific halibut and high catch rates are thought to further support this claim. The IPHC is expanding the fisheries-independent setline survey (FISS) in Canadian waters in the summer of 2018. We are confident that this expansion will increase our collective knowledge of Pacific halibut biological distribution, as it will cover a greater range (deeper and shallower depths) than the current setline survey design."

The interim meeting wraps up today.

The commission won't set 2018 catch limits until its Jan. 22-26 annual meeting in Portland.

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