Quota Share Commercial Fisheries Update
The 2016 quota share halibut fisheries opened on March 19. It is estimated that the following commercial landings, in pounds and numbers, were made in the Alaskan IFQ fishery through April 19, 2016 and in the British Columbian IVQ fishery through April 18, 2016. No Alaskan Community Development Quota (CDQ) landings have occurred thus far in 2016.
The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) will be conducting research operations off northern California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska during 2016 and will be selling halibut caught and sampled during the operations to offset costs associated with conducting the research. This news release is intended to notify the industry of the IPHC plan to sell fish and to update lists of interested buyers in ports where IPHC-chartered boats will offload catch.
The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is seeking longline vessels to conduct survey fishing in 2016. The purpose of the setline survey is to collect standardized data used for halibut stock assessment. This information is used to study aspects of the halibut resource such as growth, distribution, biomass, age composition, sexual maturity, and relative abundance of other species. Legal-sized halibut from all skates and some bycatch will be retained, sampled for biological data, and sold by the IPHC to reduce charter expenses. The 2016 setline survey will cover 29 regions, from Oregon to the northern Bering Sea including the Aleutian Islands. The 2016 fishing effort includes an expansion into the northern 4D Edge. All regions are open for single year bids. Vessels will fish 6 skates of gear at each station following standard survey protocol. A maximum of 4 stations will be permitted per day. Most regions require 12 - 22 fishing days plus additional days for running, loading and offloading gear and fish, foul weather days, etc. Depending on the region, total charter duration can be expected to be 20 - 35 days. Vessels are encouraged to bid for multiple areas, and may be awarded up to three regions. Survey fishing must be completed between May 29th and August 31st, 2016.
The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) completed its 92nd Annual Meeting in Juneau, Alaska, on January 29, 2016, with Dr. James Balsiger presiding as Chair. More than 280 halibut industry stakeholders attended the meeting, with over 80 more participating via the web. All of the Commission's public and administrative sessions during the meeting were open to the public and broadcast on the web.
The Commission is recommending to the governments of Canada and the United States catch limits for 2016 totaling 29.89 million pounds. The Commission also addressed other regulatory issues and took actions regarding assessment survey expansion and bycatch management. A news release issued January 29, 2016, announced the catch limits and fishing seasons for 2016, and that information is repeated in this news release. Documents and presentations from the Annual Meeting can be found on the Annual Meeting page of the IPHC website: http://www.iphc.int/meetings-and-events/annual-meeting.html.
The International Pacific Halibut Commission funds several Merit Scholarships to support university, technical college, and other post-secondary education. The scholarship fund has been established to assist the further education of Canadian and U.S. students connected to the halibut fishery and its industry. Generally, a single new scholarship valued at $4,000 (US) per year is awarded. The scholarships are renewable annually for the normal four-year period of undergraduate education, subject to maintenance of satisfactory academic performance. A committee of industry and Commission representatives reviews applications and determines recipients based on academic qualifications, career goals, and relationship to the halibut industry.
The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) completed its Ninety-second Annual Meeting in Juneau, AK on January 29, 2016. More than 280 halibut industry stakeholders attended the meeting, with over 80 more participating in web broadcasts of the public sessions.