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News Releases 2011
International Pacific Halibut Commission Staff Preliminary Catch Limit Recommendations: 2012 Print E-mail
Friday, 02 December 2011 21:16

In making catch limit recommendations for 2012, staff has considered the results of the 2011 stock assessment, changes in the commercial and survey indices used to monitor the stock, and a harvest policy that reflects coastwide policy goals.

Coastwide overall commercial fishery weight per unit effort (WPUE) was largely unchanged (+1%) in 2011 from 2010 values, although a significant decline continued (-18%) in Area 3B. Area 2A commercial WPUE also declined significantly, although this area is the sole remaining derby-style fishery and in consequence the commercial index is more variable than other areas. In contrast, commercial WPUE increased from 8-15% in Areas 2B, 2C, and 4B. The 2011 IPHC stock assessment survey WPUE values (adjusted for hook competition, survey timing, and averaged as in the apportionment process) increased notably in Area 2C but continued to decrease by about 20% in Areas 3B, 4A, and 4CDE. The coastwide survey value declined by approximately 9% from 2010 to 2011.

The stock exploitable biomass continues to decline, reflecting lower recruitment from the 1989 to 1997 year classes and smaller size at age. Recruitment from more recent year classes is stronger but halibut size at age continues to be much lower than that seen in the recent period (1997-1998) of historic high biomass, so these year classes are recruiting to the exploitable biomass more slowly than past year classes. For historical context, total 2011 removals (commercial, recreational, personal use, wastage, plus bycatch mortality in non-target fisheries) of 60.3 million lb, net weight (Mlb) are about 40% below the maximum seen in 2004 but about double the minimum value (29.0 Mlb) seen in 1978.

The staff recommendations continue to be based on applying the SUFullD (Slow Up – Full Down) policy of a 33% increase from previous year’s catch limits when stock yields are projected to increase and adopting the full decrease in recommended catch, when stock yields are projected to decrease.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 December 2011 22:30
2011 Halibut Landing Report No. 10 Print E-mail
Friday, 02 December 2011 21:06

Quota Share Commercial Fisheries Update

The 2011 quota share halibut fisheries opened on March 12. Preliminary catch estimates and numbers of landings made in the Alaskan IFQ and CDQ fisheries and in the British Columbian IVQ fishery during the 2011 Pacific halibut season are as follows.


AreaCatch Limit
(000s pounds)
(000s pounds)
Number of
2C 2,330.0 2,293 1,292
3A 14,360.0 14,266 1,899
3B 7,510.0 7,336 758
4 8,310.0 7,754 2,563
Alaska Total 32,510.0 31,649 6,512
2B 6,702.2 6,654 766
Grand Total 39,212.2 38,303 7,278
2011 Halibut Landing Report No. 9 Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 07:00

Quota Share Commercial Fisheries Update

The 2011 quota share halibut fisheries opened on March 12. It is estimated that the following catches and numbers of landings were made in the Alaskan IFQ and CDQ fisheries and in the British Columbian IVQ fishery through October 13, 2011.


AreaCatch Limit
(000s pounds)
(000s pounds)
Number of
2C 2,330.0 2,197 1,200
3A 14,360.0 13,654 1,771
3B 7,510.0 6,863 688
4 8,310.0 7,126 2,504
Alaska Total 32,510.0 29,840 6,163
2B 6,702.2 5,374 643
Grand Total 39,212.2 35,214 6,806
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 October 2011 07:33
IPHC Meeting Announcements Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 12:40


The International Pacific Halibut Commission’s 2011 Interim Meeting will be held in Seattle, Washington, on November 30 and December 1 at the offices of the IPHC (2320 W. Commodore Way, Suite 300, Seattle, WA). For those attending the Interim Meeting, rooms are available at $139 per night at the Edgewater Hotel (www.edgewaterhotel.com). Please identify yourself as attending the ‘IPHC Interim Meeting’. For reservations, please contact Tracy Torre by phone at (206) 269-4568 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call the general reservations number, (800) 624-0670, during regular business hours and ask for “in-house reservations”.

On Wednesday, November 30th at 1:00 P.M. (PST), there will be a webcast briefing on the stock assessment and staff’s preliminary recommended catch limits for 2012. The webcast is open to the public. However, in-person attendance at the meeting is still limited to invited agency personnel. Commissioners from each government determine attendance at the Administrative Session meeting (November 30 session and research discussions on December 1 only) and should be contacted for information and attendance requests.

There will be a public webcast presentation on 2011 research projects and proposed projects for the future on Thursday, December 1, from 9:00 A.M. to 10:30 A.M. (PST). From 10:45 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. (PST), the Commissioners and Commission staff will meet in private to discuss administrative and financial issues internal to the Commission. This portion of the meeting is for administrative purposes only, and is not open to the general public or agency personnel. Results from the meeting, including staff assessment of the fishery and catch limit recommendations, will be released in a news release after the Interim Meeting. Registration for the two webcasts as well as other Interim Meeting information can be found at: http://www.iphc.int/meetings-and-events.html

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 September 2011 13:22
Employment Opportunity: IPHC - Assistant Director Print E-mail
Friday, 26 August 2011 13:25

The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC), based in Seattle, WA, USA seeks an outstanding individual to serve as the Commission’s Assistant Director. Reporting to the Commission’s Executive Director, the Assistant Director is primarily responsible for direction of the Commission’s financial and administrative functions including budget preparations, financial audits, investments, grants and contracts, meeting arrangements, and human resource management functions. In addition, the Assistant Director assists the Executive Director in preparation of standard operating procedures, policies, science, and strategic plans to achieve the Commission’s goals and objectives; liaises with government agencies, academic, international and interagency entities, Native American and Canadian First Nations agencies, and private groups whose activities affect the affairs of the Commission; promotes and facilitates cooperation among federal, provincial, state, and native agencies dealing with fisheries and environmental quality; facilitates integrated and mutually beneficial programs in keeping with Commission goals and objectives and promotes productive partnerships and working arrangements; and interacts with science staff, contractors, boards, committees, agents, agencies, and sister commissions to keep current and insure that the Commission is kept apprised of programs, progress, needs, and problems which may affect Commission interests.

The International Pacific Halibut Commission is a bilateral intergovernmental organization of the United States and Canada, responsible for research and management of Pacific halibut stocks throughout its range in the northeast Pacific Ocean.

IPHC Releases Halibut with "Money" Inside!! Print E-mail
Monday, 22 August 2011 08:12

$500 REWARD for tags from double-tagged halibut

The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) has double-tagged halibut in Regulatory Areas 3A and 2C with a combination of external electronic “backpack tags” and electronic internal “gut tags”. The IPHC is asking harvesters to look for tagged halibut, bearing in mind that each fish should carry two tags. The backpack is a black plastic cylinder that measures ~3” (7.6 cm) long by ½” (1.2 cm) in diameter, and is attached to the dark side of the fish, below the dorsal fin, using a green-coated tagging wire, with a white backing plate that rests on the underside of the fish. Gut tags are surgically implanted in the gut cavity, but have a translucent green stalk that protrudes from the belly on the fish’s dark side (see picture below). The stalk is made of Teflon, and contains sensors that record ambient light levels. Note that, over time, gut tags can become “encapsulated” by the intestines, making them difficult to find without the stalk. Please inform your crew to look for stalks on the dark side of the fish before gutting, to avoid the possibility of throwing $500 overboard!

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