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IPHC Media Release 2021-010 IPHC Requests Tenders for the 2021 Recreational Discard Mortality Study (RDMS)

05 March 2021

SEATTLE - The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is seeking Pacific halibut charter fishing operations to conduct a Recreational Discard Mortality Study (RDMS) in May and/or early June 2021 investigating Pacific halibut release practices and associated mortality. The purpose of the charter is to (1) evaluate the effects of fish handling practices on injury levels and their association with the physiological condition of captured Pacific halibut, and (2) investigate the effects of fish handling methods and associated injury level and physiological condition on post-release survival of Pacific halibut in the guided recreational fishery. This project will help refine current estimates of discard mortality rates (DMRs) in the guided recreational Pacific halibut fishery by investigating the relationship between hook release methods, injury levels, physiological condition, and survival post-release.

The 2021 IPHC Recreational Discard Mortality Study will require 5-7 days of guided recreational fishing in each of IPHC Regulatory Areas 2C, and 3A. For IPHC Regulatory Area 2C, operations are expected to occur out of Juneau, Sitka, or Ketchikan, and for IPHC Regulatory Area 3A, operations are expected to occur out of Homer or Seward. Vessels must be capable of carrying up to six (6) anglers. Crew will assist anglers (1 IPHC Secretariat, and up to 5 volunteer anglers) with gear setup and fish management aboard the vessel.

A minimum sample size of 240 Pacific halibut from each site is being targeted, which is expected to take five to seven days of fishing. All Pacific halibut will be measured, weighed, evaluated for injuries, sampled for blood and fat content, scored a survival viability (as per the standards used by the NOAA Fisheries observer program), and subsequently tagged and released. All released Pacific halibut will be tagged with a conventional wire cheek tag and 80 of the wire-tagged Pacific halibut will also be tagged with an archival pop-up satellite reporting tag at one of the sites. All other species that are caught will be required to be released with minimal injury. No fish will be retained for consumption or otherwise. The RDMS must be completed before 30 June 2021.

The IPHC will consider only those vessels with captains and crews that have recent (within three years) Pacific halibut guided recreational fishing experience. The IPHC may require an inspection of the vessel prior to awarding the charter.

Interested vessel owners are invited to submit tenders based upon the 2021 IPHC Recreational Discard Mortality Study (RDMS) Vessel Tender Specifications. The Tender Specifications and Vessel Tender Forms for this project may be downloaded and accessed directly from the IPHC website: Opportunities | IPHC (click on IPHC Research Charters).

The IPHC will not be obligated to accept the tender with the lowest bid or any tender received and will contract according to its best interests. Vessels will be rated using the following criteria:

1) seaworthiness and general condition of the vessel and its equipment,

2) the vessel’s availability within the schedule determined solely by the IPHC Secretariat,

3) the vessel captain's experience and fishing record,

4) the qualifications of the selected crew,

5) IPHC operating costs (tender amounts)

6) Previous interactions with the IPHC and its Secretariat, experience operating as a charter vessel, scheduling flexibility, and ability to take additional Secretariat are other factors to be potentially considered in the decision-making process.

Submissions must be completed no later than 16:59 (Pacific) on 19 March 2021.

For further information please contact the IPHC Secretariat at Secretariat@iphc.int or 206.634.1838.

IPHC Secretariat
International Pacific Halibut Commission
2320 W. Commodore Way, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98199-1287
206-634-1838 | www.iphc.int