The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) completed its Ninety-third Annual Meeting in Victoria, BC, Canada on 27 January, 2017. More than 200 halibut industry stakeholders attended the meeting, with approximately 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 2017 totaling 31.40 million pounds, displayed in the following table by regulatory area.
2017 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 (4,212,000 catch and 123,000 incidental mortality)
Guided sport fishery
Area 3A (central Gulf of Alaska) (combined commercial/guided sport)1
Commercial fishery (7,739,000 catch and 371,000 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 11 March – 7 November, 2017 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, seven 10-hour fishing periods for the non-treaty directed commercial fishery are recommended: 28 June, 12 July, 26 July, 9 August, 23 August, 6 September, and 20 September, 2017.
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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David T. Wilson
Phone: (206) 634-1838
Fax: (206) 632-2983