News Releases 2010

In making catch limit recommendations for 2011, staff has considered the results of the 2010 stock assessment, changes in the commercial and survey indices used to monitor the stock, and a harvest policy that reflects coastwide policy goals.

Coastwide commercial fishery weight per unit effort (WPUE) decreased by approximately 6% in 2010 from 2009 values, primarily due to declines ranging from 6-24% in the central and western portions of the stock (Areas 3A to 4). In contrast, commercial WPUE increased substantially in Areas 2A and 2B, and modestly in Area 2C. However, the 2010 IPHC stock assessment survey WPUE values increased only in Areas 2A (109%) and 2B (3%) while decreasing from 5-36% in Areas 2C to 4. The coastwide survey index of abundance declined by approximately 15% from 2009 to 2010.

The staff conducted several analyses in 2010 that have been incorporated into the staff's catch limit recommendations. These included the addition of new Bering Sea survey data into estimation of exploitable biomass, and a statistical analysis resulting in an improved averaging procedure for the survey WPUE data used in apportioning the coastwide biomass estimate into regulatory area biomass estimates. At the request of the Commission, the staff also developed a procedure to directly deduct removals of halibut between 26-32 inches from available yield, in the area of occurrence.

The staff and the Commission have also been concerned that the Commission's Slow Up - Fast Down (SUFD) harvest policy adjustments have not achieved target harvest rate goals in the face of continued stock declines, decreases in halibut growth rate, and the history of high exploitation rates for some areas in recent years. The staff therefore recommends that the SUFD policy be modified to a Slow Up - Full Down (SUFullD) policy, to achieve the necessary reductions in harvest rate and promote increases in exploitable biomass. That is, staff recommendations would incorporate the existing policy of a 33% increase from previous year's catch limits when stock yields are projected to increase but use a 100% decrease in recommended catch, when stock yields are projected to decrease.

Quota Share Commercial Fisheries Update

The 2010 quota share halibut fisheries opened on March 6. It is estimated that the following catches and numbers of landings were made in the Alaskan IFQ and CDQ fisheries and in the British Columbian IVQ fishery through October 17, 2010.

THE COMMISSION IS MOVING!!

After 85 years on the University of Washington campus, we will be moving to a new location. The Commission and the University have negotiated a mutually acceptable relocation agreement with the grateful assistance of the U.S. State Department. The Commission will be taking up residence in its new headquarters on Monday, November 8, 2010. Our new headquarters are on the third floor of the Salmon Bay Landing building located near Fisherman's Terminal in the Interbay area of Seattle at:

2320 West Commodore Way, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98199-1287

Quota Share Commercial Fisheries Update

The 2010 quota share halibut fisheries opened on March 6. It is estimated that the following catches and numbers of landings were made in the Alaskan IFQ and CDQ fisheries and in the British Columbian IVQ fishery through September 15, 2010.

Central Oregon Area Sport Fishery Update and Closure Notice

Preliminary estimates of the catch of halibut during the August 6-8 fishery in the Central Oregon (Cape Falcon, OR to Humbug Mt., OR) area indicate that the quota for 2010 has been reached. Therefore, the Central Oregon all-depth fishery is closed for the remainder of the year.

Anglers are reminded that the nearshore (less than 40 fathom) fishery in this area closed on July 18, so all sport fishing for halibut in the Central Oregon sub-area is now prohibited for the remainder of 2010.

Quota Share Commercial Fisheries Update

The 2010 quota share halibut fisheries opened on March 6. It is estimated that the following catches and numbers of landings were made in the Alaskan IFQ and CDQ fisheries and in the British Columbian IVQ fishery through July 14, 2010.