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News Release 2018-032 International Pacific Halibut Commission Requests Charter Bids For The 2019 Fishery-Independent Setline Survey (FISS)

31 December 2018   




The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is seeking to charter longline vessels to conduct its fisheries-independent setline survey (FISS) in 2019. The purpose of the FISS is to collect standardized data for use in the Pacific halibut stock assessment. This information is used to study aspects of the Pacific halibut resource such as growth, distribution, biomass, age composition, sexual maturity, and relative abundance of other species. Legal-sized Pacific halibut from all skates and some bycatch will be retained, sampled for biological data, and sold by the IPHC to offset FISS expenses.

The 2019 FISS will cover 30 regions within the IPHC Convention Area with a standard grid of stations from Oregon to the northern Bering Sea, including the Aleutian Islands. The 2019 FISS will also include an expanded number of stations in IPHC Regulatory Areas 3A and 3B to gather additional data from these areas. All regions are open for single-year bids.

Vessels will fish seven (7) skates of gear at each FISS station in most regions (except eight skates in IPHC Regulatory Areas 2A and part of 4CDE) following standard FISS protocol. A maximum of four (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 for each region can be expected to be 20-36 days. Vessels are encouraged to bid for multiple areas, and may be awarded up to a maximum of four regions. The FISS must be completed between 26 May and 31 August 2019.

Vessels need not be licensed for Pacific halibut fishing in Canada or the USA to be eligible. The IPHC is not restricted as to nationality of the vessels it charters for operation in any region as long as customs and immigration regulations are followed.

The IPHC will consider only those vessels with captains and crews that have recent (within five years) Pacific halibut fishing experience. Most areas require vessels that have adequate deck space and suitable accommodations for two to three male or female IPHC employees. Vessels must supply conventional fixed-hook setline gear (in all IPHC Regulatory Areas, including 2C), or snap-hook setline gear (in IPHC Regulatory Area 2C only), conforming to IPHC standards (see Charter Specifications listed below) as well as all associated equipment normally required for commercial Pacific halibut fishing.

The IPHC may require an inspection of the vessel prior to awarding the charter. Bids will be evaluated based on (1) the Pacific halibut fishing experience of captain and crew, (2) the characteristics and safety features of the vessel, (3) the vessel’s availability, and (4) the IPHC operating costs. The lowest or any bid will not necessarily be accepted, and the IPHC will contract according to its own interests. 

Interested vessel owners are invited to submit bids based upon standard IPHC contract structure as described in the IPHC Request for Proposal specifications. Charter Specifications and Vessel Tender Forms for this project may be downloaded directly from the IPHC website:

Bids must be emailed (pdf) to the IPHC Secretariat at no later than 17:00 hrs (PST) on 15 February 2019.

For further information please contact the IPHC Secretariat at or 206.634.1838.                                                                                  


Dear Reader: The IPHC is moving towards fully electronic information distribution. As such, if you would like to continue to receive IPHC news in the future, please click the following link to subscribe to electronic communications: Hard copies of news releases and other bulletins will cease early in 2019.  

– END –

David T. Wilson, Ph.D.
Executive Director, IPHC
Phone: (206) 634-1838
Fax:     (206) 632-2983




Report #


Date Published


International Pacific Halibut Commission Requests Charter Bids For The 2019 Fishery-Independent Setline Survey (FISS)

31 Dec 2018


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