The National Marine Fisheries Service offered some management certainty for Alaskans interested in catching halibut when it announced that it would implement the new catch sharing plan in 2014.
Under the plan, or CSP, commercial and charter operators in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska will have a combined catch limit next summer, with each sector taking a certain percentage of that pool of fish. The exact percentage each sector takes are different in Area 2C and Area 3A, or Southeast and the central Gulf of Alaska, respectively, and also vary with abundance.
Under the CSP, the charter allocations range from 15.9 percent to 18.3 percent in Southeast and 14 percent to 19.9 percent in Southcentral, with the higher percentages kicking in at lower levels of abundance and the lower percentage at greater abundance.
The CSP also eliminated captain and crew charter harvest, and created a provision that allow commercial individual fishing quota, or IFQ, holders to lease a portion of their quota to charter operators.
The National Marine Fisheries Service, or NMFS, announced Dec. 9 that the final rule for the CSP would be published in the federal register Dec. 12, and will be implemented in 2014.
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