A public workshop to examine several issues related to Pacific halibut bycatch and life history is planned for April 24-25, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. The two-day workshop is jointly sponsored by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC). The first day will consist of a series of presentations by staffs of IPHC, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and independent scientists and fishing industry representatives on topics related to bycatch estimation, management, and its effects on halibut harvest strategy, as well as halibut growth and migration. The second day will consist of discussions of the previous day's topics by a science panel, including audience participation. Workshop materials will be posted on this page as they become available.
Based on staff research and discussions with industry before, during, and after the 2009 Annual Meeting, two dominant themes for apportionment were apparent: historical catch shares and survey-based (target exploitation rate) apportionment. Many harvesters support historical catch shares because they reflect their long-term production and they believe that these shares have resulted in a sustainable harvest. While staff identified numerous apportionment alternatives at BAW I in September 2008, none of these other alternatives has gained broad endorsement by industry.
A one-day workshop on determining and incorporating the impacts of halibut bycatch mortality in non-target fisheries and mortality of sublegal fish in halibut fisheries in the assessment and management of halibut stocks was held in Seattle, WA on Tuesday, September 29, 2009. Among the topics covered at the workshop were:
Bycatch Workshop Outline (pdf) - Bruce M. Leaman
Bycatch History and Status (pdf) - Gregg H. Williams
Accounting for Bycatch Impacts (pdf) - Steven R. Hare, Juan L. Valero, Ray A. Webster, Gregg H. Williams, Bruce M. Leaman, IPHC staff
Effect of Migration on Impacts (pdf) - Juan L. Valero, Steven R. Hare
Bycatch Policy Matters (pdf) - revised 11/23/09 - Bruce M. Leaman, Gregg H. Williams
The International Pacific Halibut Commission adopted a coastwide stock assessment methodology at its 2008 Annual Meeting. This methodology accommodates movement of halibut at all ages and determines a single coastwide estimate of exploitable biomass. This single coastwide estimate is then apportioned into IPHC regulatory area estimates using data from the fishery-independent IPHC setline stock assessment survey and estimates of bottom area from each regulatory area. This apportionment resulted in a different distribution of the exploitable biomass than had been estimated with the previous closed-area stock assessments.