December 12, 2013
Halibut fishermen are bracing for another huge quota cut after the International Pacific Halibut Commission staff presented a rather grim stock assessment at their interim meeting in Seattle last week.
While there is no longer a “staff recommendation,” staff members do present a decision table with a “blue line” that is essentially the same thing: a harvest level at which the fishery should not diminish too much further in the future.
For 2014, the blue line came in at a coast-wide quota, from California to the Bering Sea, of 24.45 million pounds, down 21 percent from 2013.
For Alaska, the state-wide quota would be 18.74 million pounds, but after subtracting wastage and guided sport use in areas 2C and 3A under the new catch sharing plan, the amount left for commercial harvest would be 15.79 million pounds.