Quota Share Commercial Fisheries Update
The 2017 quota share Pacific halibut fisheries opened on 11 March 2017. It is estimated that the following commercial landings, in pounds and numbers, were made in the Alaskan IFQ fishery through 23 April 2017 and in the British Columbian IVQ fishery through 20 April 2017. No Alaskan Community Development Quota (CDQ) landings have occurred thus far in 2017.
The catch off Alaska represents 17% of Alaska’s 2017 commercial fishery catch limit. For comparison, 3.4 million pounds, or 19% of the 2016 catch limit, were landed in the Alaskan fishery by this same date in 2016; however, the opening date of the 2016 fishery occurred eight days later in the year than that of the 2017 fishery. Thus, during the first 43 days of the 2016 Alaskan commercial Pacific halibut fishery, 3.9 million pounds, or 21% of the catch limit, were landed.
The catch from British Columbian (Area 2B) waters represents 17% of the 2017 commercial fishery catch limit. For comparison, 1.1 million pounds, or 18% of the 2016 catch limit, had been landed from Area 2B by this same date in 2016. Also, during the first 40 days of the 2016 IVQ fishery, 1.4 million pounds, or 22% of the catch limit, had been landed.
Area 2A Commercial Treaty Indian Fisheries
In 2017, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) allocated 435,900 pounds of halibut for commercial use to the Treaty Indian tribes of Area 2A-1. Preliminary catch estimates indicate that during unrestricted fishery openings on 20 March and 15-16 April, the Treaty tribes landed 261,716 pounds of halibut.
Area 2A Incidental Commercial Halibut Fishery During the Salmon Troll Season
The total allowable incidental commercial catch of halibut allocated to the Area 2A salmon troll fishery is 39,810 pounds. Incidental catch of halibut in the salmon troll fishery was allowed beginning 1 April. Preliminary landing estimates are not yet available. The PFMC has adopted new landing restrictions starting on 1 May; for incidental fishery retention information, call the NMFS hotline (1 800-662-9825 press 7 for halibut information).
Area 2A Incidental Commercial Halibut Fishery During the Limited Entry, Fixed-Gear Sablefish Fishery
The total allowable incidental commercial catch of halibut allocated to the limited entry, fixed-gear sablefish fishery, which operates in Area 2A north of Point Chehalis, Washington, is 70,000 pounds. Incidental catch of halibut in the sablefish fishery was allowed beginning 1 April. Preliminary landing estimates are not yet available. For further incidental fishery retention information, call the NMFS hotline (1-800-662-9825 press 7 for halibut information).
Correction to Printed Copy of IPHC Regulations
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David T. Wilson, Ph.D.
Phone: (206) 634-1838
Fax: (206) 632-2983