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.
The Commission is recommending to the governments of Canada and the United States catch limits for 2016 totaling 29.89 million pounds, displayed in the following table by regulatory area.
2016 Catch Limits
Area 2A (California, Oregon, and Washington)
Non-treaty directed commercial (south of Pt. Chehalis)
Non-treaty incidental catch in salmon troll fishery
Non-treaty incidental catch in sablefish fishery (north of Pt. Chehalis)
Treaty Indian commercial
Treaty Indian ceremonial and subsistence (year-round)
Sport - Washington
Sport - Oregon
Sport - California
Area 2B (British Columbia) (includes sport catch allocation)
Area 2C (southeastern Alaska) (combined commercial/guided sport)1
Commercial fishery (3,924,000 catch and 120,000 incidental mortality)
Guided sport fishery
Area 3A (central Gulf of Alaska) (combined commercial/guided sport)1
Commercial fishery (7,336,000 catch and 450,000 incidental mortality)
Guided sport fishery
Area 3B (western Gulf of Alaska)
Area 4A (eastern Aleutians)
Area 4B (central/western Aleutians)
Area 4C (Pribilof Islands)
Area 4D (northwestern Bering Sea)
Area 4E (Bering Sea flats)
1The combined total includes estimated mortality from regulatory discards of sublegal halibut and lost gear in the commercial fishery, plus discard mortality in the guided sport fishery, as mandated in the U.S. Catch Sharing Plans.
The Commission approved a season of March 19 - November 7, 2016 for the U.S. and Canadian Individual Quota fisheries. The Treaty tribal commercial fisheries and the incidental halibut fisheries in Area 2A will occur within these dates. In Area 2A, eight 10-hour fishing periods for the non-treaty directed commercial fishery are recommended: June 22, July 6, July 20, August 3, August 17, August 31, September 14, and September 28, 2016.
A subsequent IPHC News Release will provide more details of the Annual Meeting, including the regulatory and other issues decided by the Commission.
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Bruce M. Leaman
Phone: (206) 634-1838
Fax: (206) 632-2983