The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) has determined that fishing period limits will be required during the 10-hour, June 22 non-treaty directed commercial fishing period in Area 2A to avoid exceeding the 193,364 pound catch limit. The June 22 fishing period will begin at 8:00 AM and end at 6:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time. The fishery is restricted to waters that are south of Point Chehalis, Washington (46°53’30” N. latitude) under regulations promulgated by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Fishing period limits as indicated in the following table will be in effect for this opening.
|Vessel Class||Fishing Period Limit (pounds)|
The appropriate vessel length class and letter are printed on each vessel license. The fishing period limit applies to the vessel, not the individual fisher, and any landings over the vessel limit will be subject to forfeiture and fine.
The fishing period limit is shown in terms of dressed, head-off weight as well as dressed, head-on weight, although fishers are reminded that regulations require that all halibut from Area 2A be landed with the head on. Additionally, fishers are reminded that there is a 72-hour rule whereby a vessel that will be used in the directed fishery may not be used to fish for any species of fish anywhere in Area 2A during the 72-hour period immediately before the directed commercial fishing period unless all catch of other species has been completely offloaded or the vessel submits to a hold inspection by an authorized officer prior to the start of the fishing period (see IPHC Pacific Halibut Fishery Regulations 2016, sections 19(7)(a)(b) and 19(8)(a)(b).
NMFS has implemented mandatory depth-based area closures that are in effect for the directed halibut fishery to protect specific rockfish species. For the exact coordinates of the closed areas, go to the following web page: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/management/groundfish_closures/groundfish_closed_areas.html. For further information, call the NMFS hotline at 1 800-662-9825, then press "7" for the halibut fisheries.
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Bruce M. Leaman
Phone: (206) 634-1838
Fax: (206) 632-2983