National Fisherman

FAIRBANKS — A proposed plan to allocate halibut catch shares between charter and commercial boats will not necessarily lead to a one-fish per day limit for charter boat customers in waters off Southcentral Alaska, according to a summary released by North Pacific Fishery Management Council staff.

The plan would replace the current “guideline harvest level” system with a system that allocates a percentage of the total allowable halibut catch between the commercial and charter sectors. The council staff, employees of the National Marine Fisheries Service, said the plan was developed, in part, to allow the allocation between commercial and charter sectors to fluctuate, “with relatively higher allocations to the charter sector in years of lower abundance, when that sector would be most affected.”

However, some charter boat operators have criticized the latest so called “catch-sharing plan,” saying it could lead to a one-fish per trip limit in Southcentral Alaska waters, similar to the rule applied in Southeast Alaska during the past three years.

The staff summary said that criticism is “unfounded.”

The summary was placed on items for the council to consider in advance of its Sept. 30-Oct.8 meeting in Anchorage. The plan is not on the council’s meeting agenda.

If the plan would have been in effect this year, the staff summary said, “in Area 3A (southcentral), the (charter) allocation would have been 17.5 percent of the combined catch limit for that area (slightly higher than the 2012 harvest), and would have resulted in no change to bag limits (i.e., the limit would have remained two fish of any size).”

Read the full story at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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