Quota Share Commercial Fisheries Update
The 2016 quota share halibut fisheries opened on March 19. It is estimated that the following commercial landings, in pounds and numbers, were made in the Alaskan IFQ and CDQ fisheries and in the British Columbian IVQ fishery through May 18, 2016.
The catch off Alaska represents 32% of the 2016 commercial fishery catch limit. For comparison, 5.7 million pounds, or 32% of the 2015 catch limit, were landed in the Alaskan fishery by this same date in 2015; however, the opening date of the 2015 fishery occurred five days earlier in the year than that of the 2016 fishery. Thus, during the first 60 days of the 2015 Alaskan commercial halibut fishery, 5.0 million pounds, or 28% of the catch limit, were landed.
The catch from British Columbian (Area 2B) waters represents 27% of the 2016 commercial fishery catch limit. For comparison, 1.9 million pounds, or 33% of the 2015 catch limit, had been landed from Area 2B by this same date in 2015. Also, during the first 60 days of the 2015 IVQ fishery, 1.9 million pounds, or 33% of the catch limit, had been landed.
Area 2A Commercial Treaty Indian Fisheries
In 2016, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) allocated 365,100 pounds of halibut for commercial use to the Treaty Indian tribes of Area 2A-1. Preliminary catch estimates indicate that during the unrestricted fishery openings between March 19 and March 23, the Treaty tribes landed 239,637 pounds of halibut. An additional 50,738 pounds of halibut were landed during a 28-hour restricted fishing period from April 1-2, which had a limit of 500 pounds per vessel. There were also two late-season restricted fisheries from May 1-2 and May 11-12. Each opening was 24 hours long and had an 800 pound trip limit. Preliminary estimates indicate that 57,570 pounds were landed during the two May fisheries. There are 17,155 pounds remaining to be harvested and the Treaty Indian tribes are discussing options.
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 34,123 pounds. Incidental catch of halibut in the salmon troll fishery was allowed beginning April 1. Preliminary landing estimates indicate that approximately 8,200 pounds of halibut have been landed through May 8 in Washington and Oregon. There are 25,923 pounds remaining to be harvested. For further 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 49,686 pounds. Incidental catch of halibut in the sablefish fishery was allowed beginning April 1. It is estimated that 1,515 pounds of halibut were landed through May 6. There are 48,171 pounds remaining to be harvested. For further incidental fishery retention information, call the NMFS hotline (1-800-662-9825 press 7 for halibut information).
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Bruce M. Leaman
Phone: (206) 634-1838
Fax: (206) 632-2983