IPHC Requests Bids for 2011 Stock Assessment Charters
The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is seeking commercial longline vessels to conduct survey fishing in 2011.
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. The 2011 setline survey will cover 28 regions, from the southern Oregon border to the northern Bering Sea including the Aleutian Islands and Puget Sound. All regions are open for single year bids. Survey vessels will fish six skates of standardized gear at each station. The survey has been designed so that the average vessel can fish 4 stations per day. Most regions require 14 - 23 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 - 33 days. Vessels are encouraged to bid for multiple areas. Survey fishing must be completed between May 29th and August 31st 2011.
The IPHC has added an additional 53 stations in 2A within both the current standard depth range (20-275 fm) and in shallower (10-20 fm) and deeper (275-400 fm) depth
ranges and expanded the geographic range of stations into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound. The division of stations has resulted in approximately one extra trip in both the Oregon and Washington charter regions, and in a new small Puget Sound charter region, also expected to take a single trip to complete. Details on this work can be found in Appendix 4 of the Charter Specifications.
The IPHC will also be conducting a pilot bait comparison study on the western (Trinity region) and eastern (Fairweather region) sides of the Gulf of Alaska. This is anticipated to take 6 to 7 days of fishing and we ask vessels to bid on this work in addition to the regular charter regions. Details on this project can be found in Appendix 5 of the Charter Specifications.
For the setline survey charters, information such as age, sex, maturity, length, location, and catch rate will be collected from all halibut captured. Legal-sized halibut from all skates and some bycatch will be retained and sold by the IPHC to reduce charter expenses.
Interested vessel owners are invited to submit bids based upon standard IPHC contract structure. Bids will be accepted based upon a lump sum payment for the completion of a region. Vessels may bid up to three regions. Charter Specifications and Vessel Tender Forms for the above projects may be requested from the Commission or downloaded from the IPHC web site (www.iphc.int).
Vessels need not be licensed for halibut fishing in Canada or the U.S. to be eligible. The Commission is not restricted as to nationality of the vessels it charters for operation in any area as long as customs regulations are followed. The IPHC will consider only those vessels with captains and crews that have halibut fishing experience. Stock assessment surveys in Areas 2B require three Commission employees to conduct the work and all other charter areas must have adequate deck space and suitable accommodations for two Commission employees (who may be women). Vessels must supply conventional fixed-hook setline gear built to Commission Standards (see Charter Specifications) as well as all associated equipment normally required for commercial halibut fishing.
The IPHC will evaluate bids based on (1) the experience of captain and crew with halibut fishing, (2) the characteristics and safety features of the vessel, (3) vessel's availability, and (4) IPHC operating costs. The lowest or any bid will not necessarily be accepted, and the Commission will contract according to its own best interests.
For further information please contact Claude Dykstra ((206) 634-1838 ext. 7662), Tracee Geernaert (ext. 7665), or Heather Gilroy (ext. 7666). Bids must be received at the IPHC office in Seattle by 12:00 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time) on Wednesday, March 16th, 2011.
Bruce M. Leaman
Phone: (206) 634-1838
Fax: (206) 632-2983