2019 Sports Halibut Regulations Announced - P.O.W. Report

Friday, February 15, 2019

2019 Sports Halibut Regulations Announced


From SEAGOAlaska:

IPHC Announces 2019 Guided Sport Halibut Regulations – One fish daily, U38 O80


The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) completed the annual meeting Friday in Victoria, BC. Unlike in 2018, the U.S. and Canada reached agreement on the 2019 season. The Commission established a coastwide catch limit of 38.61 M lbs. and approved a 38-80 reverse slot limit for 2C charter anglers – the same regulation as 2018.

The ongoing overharvest of halibut by British Columbia remained a divisive issue. Canada claims that U.S. bycatch in the Gulf and Bering Sea shorts them of fish downstream, and that current fishing surveys don’t accurately portray true resource levels in Area 2B (British Columbia). Last year Canada harvested about 1.6 M lbs (40%) more than the IPHC survey allocated.

Canada may have gained traction with the bycatch argument. IPHC science staff projects annual losses of 450,000 pounds to Area 2B due to bycatch. (The same report assigned 570,000 pounds of annual lost yield to 2C.)

In addition, Commissioners also approved an allocation floor of 1.65 M lbs. for Area 2A (California, Oregon, Washington). The region has been appealing for a poundage floor for several meetings, claiming that the amount distributed to them through IPHC survey is not enough for them to effectively prosecute a fishery. Together, reallocations to 2A and 2B represent just under a three-million-pound loss to Alaska fisheries.

Perhaps the silver linings here are the focus on bycatch accounting and reduction, and an emerging realization that fishing sectors have a minimum threshold to remain viable.

What’s your minimum threshold to keep your business viable? What regulation floor would you propose?

Contact SEAGO and let us know what you think.

With the IPHC approval of 2C sport halibut limits, 2019 sport regulations are now complete. King salmon limits should officially post sometime in February, and will duplicate 2018 regulations with non-residents subject to non-retention after mid-season. 

You may find all the regulations in full [here]









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